A pantyliner advert which features a naked woman taking about “vaginal discharge” is attracting complaints after having been on air for less than a day.
The Carefree advert, which broadcast for the first time in New Zealand last night, features an attractive brunette addressing the camera directly as she extols the marvels of the human body.
She says: “Even that bit of discharge in between our periods is our body working to keep the vagina healthy and that damp, less than fresh feeling, is why Carefree has designed these Acti-Fresh liners, with an absorbent core to lock away wetness and odour, helping you feel clean, fresh and dry every day.”
The Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) told Nine MSN the ad received five complaints as soon as it was launched and that the next step was for the ASB to contact manufacturer Johnson & Johnson Pacific, for a response.
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An accompanying press release entitled “Tackling the taboo” asked “Why do we find it so hard to talk about discharge? Why do we struggle to use the word ‘vagina’ in the media?”
“In a national campaign that spans multiple media platforms, Carefree is maintaining an honest and elegant approach to this perfectly natural subject. The campaign is a celebration of the female body and everything it can do.”
It adds that in its aim to encourage women to be open and unashamed, it is one of the only brands to have used the word “vagina” in its television campaign in New Zealand.
Campaign spokeswoman Debbie Selikman added: “It’s the first time a major brand had has the guts to use real words, no euphemisms or diminuitive terms.”
While the advert may not be to everyone's taste, it breaks new ground in an arena where feminine hygiene products have been lambasted for coyness over the word "vagina".
Earlier this month, FemFresh came under social media attack after emblazoning its Facebook page with the message: "Femfresh is one of the kindest ways to care for your va jay jay, kitty, nooni, lala, froo froo! Whatever you call it, make sure you love it."
The campaign was accused of 'patronising' its target audience of adult women by opting to use the words 'lala' and 'froo froo' instead of 'vulva' or 'vagina'.
One Twitter user posted: "FemFresh have had a good old dissing on their FB page. About time. IT'S A VAGINA AND WE ARE WOMEN NOT CHILDREN."