Ireland Bans Tampax Advert Following Complaints Of Sexualising Tampon Use

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A new Tampax TV advertisement has been banned in Ireland due to "widespread offence" it has stirred in viewers. The Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI) says the ad should not be aired again using the same the format noting complaints that it contained sexual innuendos and excessive detail.

Proctor and Gamble, the company that owns the tampon brand clarified that their "Tampon and Tea" ad campaign was aimed at educating people on the use of the product in a "light hearted" advert to inform its consumers about a "very common usage" question.

However, the Irish advertising watchdog stuck to its guns as it had received and reviewed 150 complaints with 83% coming from women who found the casual advert to be "over descriptive, and inappropriately expressed."

The "Tampon and tea" advert features a chat show set-up where the TV host asks the audience : "Tell me, how many of you ever feel your tampon?"

Most of the complaints focused on the issue of the phrases that were used to address this question. The supposed valuable product usage information was handled with remarks such as "you gotta get 'em up there girls" and "not just the tip, up to the grip." The viewers were not amused by these and found them to be vulgar, crude and embarrassing. Some even said it was demeaning and belittled women for their ignorance on how to read instructions correctly.

Several complainants also took offence on the tag lines, pointing out that it had sexual connotations and that the commercial was sexualising the wearing of tampons.

In a statement posted on the official Twitter account of Tampax, the company reiterated its goals: 'We believe in normalising the conversation around periods through awareness, information and education. This advert was designed to address a very common usage question and to educate how to use our product correctly in a straight-talking way."

While the ban on the advert had appeased offended complainants, ASAI's decision was also met with social media outrage which included Dublin's Lord Mayor Hazel Chu who tweeted :

"I personally think the ASAI made a wrong call banning the ad. Talking frankly about periods & tampons should not be taboo, we're not in the 1980s."

However, contradictory to its decision, according to the ASAI ruling on the advertisement, it "provided factual information in a manner that was neither explicit nor graphic." All other issues that deemed the ad demeaning to women, contained sexual innuendos and suitability for children were not upheld and found no breach of its code.

As of now, ASAI is in the process of reviewing its controversial decision to uphold complaints from all sides saying that they will "fully review" all email comments they have received.