SCA Hygiene is demanding an explanation from outdoor media company JC Decaux after it took down an ad for Bodyform following complaints from a local councillor.
The ad, which was at a poster site in Ainsdale, Southport, is part of a &£5m campaign – dubbed “Vote for Change” – for the feminine hygiene brand. It uses the line: “Every month more than one in five women are let down by their sanitary towels”.
But the ad caused such offence to local residents they complained to local councillor Brenda Porter. Porter in turn complained to site owner Decaux, which apologised and took down the poster, without consulting SCA.
The move has infuriated the personal care giant, which is defending the campaign vigorously, and which has yet to receive an explanation from Decaux as to why it removed the ad. SCA also points to the view of the Advertising Standards Authority, which has made clear it has “no grounds” to investigate the ad.
The campaign, created by Bartle Bogle Hegarty, was intended to mirror the start of an aggressive political campaign. It was designed to encourage women to question the effectiveness of their current brand.
SCA Hygiene spokeswoman Nicola Jones says: “It concerns us there are people in this day and age that are offended by an ad that mentions the words ‘sanitary towel’. In a society that is supposed to be liberated and free-thinking, we find it difficult to understand what is offensive about such a natural subject. It is equally shocking that innovation associated with female emancipation can be viewed as being offensive in any way.”