‘Sex never gets old’: Vaginal dryness brand wins TfL ad diversity prize tackling ageism

Replens MD, an intimate moisturiser brand, has won £500,000 of advertising space across the Transport for London network, while Brompton Bicycle takes home second place.

Vaginal dryness brand Replens MD has won Transport for London (TfL) and City Hall’s Diversity in Advertising competition for challenging assumptions around older people and intimacy.

The ‘Sex never gets old’ campaign celebrates intimate relationships between those aged over 55, as well as shining a light on same sex partnerships and vaginal dryness, an issue many women feel uncomfortable discussing.

The Replens MD campaign was chosen by a panel of judges from advertising, media and older people’s organisations, alongside City Hall and TfL, for its potential to change perceptions and drive change in the industry.

Age, intimacy and sex are rarely referenced in advertising when discussing those aged over 55.

Rossana Doldi, Replens MD

The brand will receive £500,000 worth of advertising space across the TfL network.

“Age, intimacy and sex are rarely referenced in advertising when discussing those aged over 55. Our campaign captures a diverse range of older people as sexual beings in beautiful and emotional moments of their intimacy, celebrating age and breaking down misconceptions surrounding these unspoken aspects in later life,” says Rossana Doldi, head of healthcare at Replens MD owner Church & Dwight UK.

“Through this campaign, working with TfL and City Hall, we can give visibility and relevance to this often overlooked age group, giving people the confidence to view their older selves more positively.”

Stop defining over-50s by age alone or risk long-term brand decay

Bike manufacturer Brompton has won a runner-up prize to match funding of up to £50,000. The brand flipped the meaning of ‘getting on’ from a negative term used to describe someone as aging to mean getting on a bike and exuding confidence.

Christina Lindquist, head of marketing, Brompton Bicycle, says: “[We] wanted to make a clear statement countering the notion that some people are ‘too old’ to cycle. It’s time to end the stigma around physical activity for older generations. We know from speaking to many of our customers who are over 55, that they ride absolutely everywhere – whether it’s for errands, seeing friends and family, or exercise.”

Working with partners JCDecaux and Global, this year’s competition was looking for brands to authentically portray people aged over 55, to help tackle one-dimensional depictions of older people in advertising.

It comes as research by Lloyds Banking shows that while people over 65 make up 17.7% of the population they only feature in 6.2% of advertising and when they do brands rely heavily on stereotypes

The TfL Diversity in Advertising competition was first launched in 2018, with previous rounds encouraging advertisers to better portray women and BAME communities in advertising.

Hosiery brand Nubian Skin took home the top prize last year, while Holland & Barrett won the first competition for its campaign aiming to break taboos around the menopause.