The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland’s (ASAI) said that 84 complaints were received in relation to the ‘Tampons & Tea’ television advertisement.
The advert features a female host and a young woman being interviewed about the how to use a tampon correctly.
According to the group's latest complaints bulletin, the television advertisement was found to have been in breach of the ASAI Code on grounds related to General Offence; Demeaning to Women; Sexual Innuendo and Suitability for Children.
In a statement, the ASAI said that some complainants considered the advert to be offensive, that it was inappropriate to talk about such a sensitive topic in the manner portrayed, and that the content had been over-descriptive, inappropriately expressed, and with excessive detail.
The group outlined that other complainants considered the advertising to be demeaning to women and that it belittled them.
It added that some complainants considered the advertising to be unsuitable for daytime television, while children may be watching, and said it should not have aired before 9pm.
Speaking with RTÉ’s Drivetime, Orla Twomey, chief executive, ASAI, said that in the last four-and-a-half years there have been only seven adverts that have had 60 or more complaints.
She noted that most of the complaints about the advert were from women.
‘Normalising the Conversation’
According to RTÉ.ie, Procter and Gamble, the manufacturers of Tampax, said it "believed in normalising the conversation around periods through awareness, information and education.
"The light-hearted advert had centred around a very common usage question and the intent was to educate people on how to use the product."
The ASAI reported that the advertisers said that, while they appreciated that the advertisement had led to a higher number of complaints than they would have expected, they believed the copy delivered an important educational message to consumers as they were advised how best to use a tampon in a safe and secure manner.
"They [Procter and Gamble] said the advertisement had not featured explicit or graphic content, and the demonstration on how to use the product correctly was presented in a factual manner, as such they did not believe the advert was offensive and that it should be permitted to remain on air," it added.
The ASAI conducts ongoing monitoring of advertising across all media. Since 2007, it has examined over 27,000 advertisements, with an overall compliance rate of 98%.
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