Fat-Shaming? Period-Shaming? This Australian sanitary napkin ad by Brendan Gibbons has been divisive.
This new sanitary napkin ad from J. Walter Thompson Melbourne sums up what it’s like to have your period. You sprawl on the couch in sweats, whining into the phone, “I feel like I sat on a jam donut.” You order pizza and shout at the delivery guy. You tell your cat, “I don’t need you, I don’t need anyone.”
Thus the Australian ad for a new line of sanitary pads, Sofy “BeFresh,” taps into some common (if tired) stereotypes about women turning crazy during their periods. But the thing that really annoyed some viewers is that two women were in cast in the ad: a thin actress and a larger actress who plays her alter ego, the hormonal mess who takes over when it’s that time of the month. On Twitter, some commenters called it fat-shaming and period-shaming. To be fair, some found the ad funny and said they related.
The products were released by Unicharm Australia, part of Japan’s Unicharm Corporation, which also makes babycare and health products. The company said it “unreservedly apologizes to anyone who is offended.”
J. Walter Thompson developed the product name and pack design, as well as the integrated campaign including TV, print, digital and social elements. In a statement when the campaign was released, J. Walter Thompson Melbourne creative director Tim Holmes said: “The result is a creative platform that changes the rules of periods — say goodbye to ugh and hello to feeling fresh and clean.”
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