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Welcome To Ireland In 2020, Where Tampon Ads Are Banned

Welcome To Ireland In 2020, Where Tampon Ads Are Banned

Danielle Mahoney

You would think that with a global pandemic still ongoing that people would have a bit more to worry about than an ad for tampons being offensive, but apparently not.
This week it was announced that the Tampax ad – the one with the fake talk show called Tampons and Tea – has been banned in Ireland due to it being deemed “offensive”.
The ASAI (Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland) upheld 84 (only EIGHTY FOUR!!) complaints that said the advertisement caused general offence to viewers.
Some complainants said that the advertisement was offensive and that it used an inappropriate manner to discuss a sensitive topic. Others also claimed it was “demeaning to women, contained sexual innuendo, or was unsuitable for children”.
They also said the advertisement was over-descriptive and had been expressed inappropriately with excessive detail.

“You gotta get ‘em up there, girls”

I’ve seen the ad numerous times on the TV over the past few months and I’ve rewatched it since it was banned, but for the life of me I just can’t see what’s so offensive about it.
It’s a simple ad made to inform people about the correct way to insert a tampon.
Apparently the offensive term is the chat show host saying  “You gotta get ‘em up there, girls”. But, like, where else are you supposed to put tampons? You are supposed to put them “up there”.
The ad explains that users should insert the tampon applicator “up to the grip” and to not just insert the tip before pushing the applicator to make sure the tampon is inserted comfortably and correctly.
I’m personally not a fan of tampons as the few times I tried to use them when I was a teen I found it so uncomfortable. I obviously wasn’t putting it in up to the grip like this ad advises. So, an advert like that would have been really welcome during my teen years. And you know what, I even welcomed it as a 28 year old. It was an informative ad presented in a fun and unique way.

Content Related To Periods Are “Unsuitable” For Children…apparently

Others complained that the ad was unsuitable for children and said that it should not have been aired before 9pm.
The notion of it being inappropriate for kids is just ridiculous. There is nothing shameful or wrong about a normal bodily function that half the population experiences monthly. What exactly is wrong with kids knowing about it if they want to ask a question? I was 12 years old when I got my period and I have friends who were as young as 10.
Giving factual information about periods is important for both genders. Recently there has been a trend on TikTok of girls asking their boyfriends about sanitary towels, and an alarming amount of men think that pads are stuck to the skin and not underwear. It may give a cheap-laugh to some people, but it shows the deep-rooted shame and lack of knowledge around periods.
This lack of education and ability to comfortably talk about periods leads to 84 adults lodging complaints about a tampon ad in 2020.

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I’m Offended

The Tampax ad being banned in Ireland shows that once again the female anatomy is being censored and shamed. Once again we’re being told to keep quiet: to keep “women’s problems” to ourselves.
It’s exhausting, frustrating and downright rage-inducing that we are being told that periods are offensive. Because make no mistake, that is what we are being told with this ad being banned.
There has been so much shame and embarrassment around periods for centuries. You would think that in 2020 people would be able to look at a simple and informative tampon ad and not be offended, but apparently not.
It’s also worth noting that this ad is being aired in the UK and it has not been banned there.
I wish the people who complained were more offended by the fact that 50% of girls in Ireland can’t even afford to buy tampons or pads because they experience period poverty.
I would genuinely like to know what turn of phrase those people who complained would deem appropriate to describe how to properly insert a tampon. What offends me is that it’s 2020 and people in Ireland are still trying to shame and control women’s bodies. Who do I complain to about that?
How did you feel about the Tampax ad being banned? Let us know over on our Instagram.

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