Tampon ad off air after storm of complaints (+video)

By Paul Harper

Libra says it regrets any offence the advertisement caused. Photo / Supplied
Libra says it regrets any offence the advertisement caused. Photo / Supplied

Libra is removing a television ad for tampons after a storm of complaints.

The ad features a drag queen and a blonde woman in a bathroom, seemingly competing against each other.

They apply make-up and adjust their bras before the woman produces a tampon.
Defeated, the drag queen walks out.

Libra said it "regrets any offence taken to our recent tampon advertisement. It was never intended to upset or offend anyone."

"Independent research was undertaken and the advertisement was viewed positively during that testing," Libra said on its Facebook page.

"Libra takes all feedback very seriously, and in response to this, we will immediately review our future position with this campaign based on the feedback received. There are no further advertisements scheduled in New Zealand."

The advert has not aired in Australia and has been removed from the company's Facebook page.

Wellington Gay Welfare spokesman Stu Donaldson told Radio New Zealand adverts like the Libra one that "ridicule" transgenders could lead to suicide, while former Labour MP Georgina Beyer, the world's first transgender MP, described it as a "cheap shot".

"Somebody got paid an enormous amount of money to come up with that and at the expense of a minority in our society who the last thing they need is inane comments like that being made about them," she told Radio New Zealand.

Libra's Facebook page received a barrage of criticism, but also some support, mainly from men.

"Your commercial is disgusting. It's misogynistic and transphobic. WOMEN ARE NOT DEFINED BY THEIR PERIODS," Katje van Loon wrote.

"Accepting people for who they are, not what they are, is not political correctness. It is basic, human decency," Cassandra Spencer wrote.

"Transphobic media like this ad contributes to bullying and youth suicide," Bayne MacGregor said.

However many people felt the advert should remain on air.

"The ad does not discriminate, it merely points out the obvious. Only real women menstruate, that is not to say all real women DO menstruate. The two ideas are completely different and all the people complaining are to ignorant to see that.," Jocob Dexter said.

"Your latest "drag queen" ad is both clever and funny and hardly offensive to most people. It is part of the Kiwi culture and Kiwi humour to laugh at our ourselves so why are these outspoken minority reading any more than humour into it?" Ian Deynzer wrote.

"I personally didn't find the ad offensive as I am a menstruating woman but I can completely understand why other women would find this ad offensive and they have a right to have their say. Everyone should stop telling them they are overreacting and actually try to understand," Kairan Meek said.

Herald readers' views on the ad can be found here.

Check out the ad:

- Herald online

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