I still find it amazing how squirmish people get about women’s periods. It’s quite silly really considered that 99.9% of women have them. I also find it fundamentally insulting that where women’s bodies can be sexualized to sell everything from men’s watches, cars and handbags when it comes to marketing a product made for a female biological norm all of the sudden there can be such a thing as showing too much skin. Well New York City’s MTA tried it and failed. The new ads for the moisture wicking panty THINX are innovative, artistically subtle , and were apparently too much for Outfront Media, the company which approves most of the copy and images for review before the MTA. ( click here to understand how these babies work)
Here was their response:
Crazy right? Bustle.com did a great post about it:
A few weeks ago, THINX’s director of marketing, Veronica del Rosario, called her boss, crying. “I was feeling so defeated,” Del Rosario remembers. She’d been going back and forth with an ad agency on the creative for THINX — aka the “period” underwear‘s — ad for weeks, and she was finally convinced that THINX wouldn’t be able to run their ads on New York City’s subways.
Del Rosario said that an agent at Outfront Media, the company which approves most of the copy and images for review before the MTA board, already had several issues with the ads, starting with the company’s slogan.
“When we said the text would read ‘Underwear for Women With Periods,’ the agent said, ‘We won’t be able to run the copy as is,’ we could only assume that meant they didn’t want us to use the word period,” Del Rosario tells Bustle. She also said that a male agent asked her what would happen if a kid saw the ad. Del Rosario said he also took issue with the word fluid, as well as the pictures of the grapefruit (meant to symbolize the vagina) and eggs (meant to symbolize a woman’s ovum), she says. “He said they were too suggestive … as were the women in their underwear,” Del Rosario tells Bustle. His suggestion was to use white silhouettes with black underwear, she says. This, despite the fact that several of the ads depict women in turtleneck sweaters.
The agent remarked, “‘Don’t make this a women’s rights thing’ — and then he hung up on me,” Del Rosario tells Bustle. That’s when she called her boss, cofounder and CEO Miki Agrawal, crying — and they went to the press.
While the MTA and Outfront Media has commented that the concern over the word period was brought up by an Outfront representative before THINX had officially submitted the copy for the ad — and before the MTA or Outfront Media had formally had a chance to review or reject it — Del Rosario says she felt the entire process was “an uphill battle,” and one that operated under the assumption that talking about women’s periods was potentially inappropriate. According to the the MTA’s guidelines, subway ads can’t depict “sexual or excretory activities” or materials that promote a “sexually oriented business.” THINX, which markets underwear for women on their periods, was doing neither.
After going back and forth on the copy and images, Del Rosario says she began questioning the agent on the obvious double-standard behind his edits — especially when there are so many far more suggestive and objectifying ads on the subway, featuring both naked women and grapefruits, like this infamous one.
And this one.
Read the rest here