‘Disgusting and demeaning’: Graphic advert showing menstrual blood on Australian TV for the first time is hit with more than 600 complaints

Article by Eliza McPhee /
Daily Mail /
September 17, 2019 /
Click here to view original /

A graphic period pad advertisement has been hit with more than 600 complaints after it showed menstrual blood on Australian TV for the first time ever.

Asaleo Care which designs Libra feminine hygiene products aired the ad in prime time slots in August, sparking controversy across Australia.

Many viewers were left shocked at the confronting commercial labelling it as ‘disgusting and degrading’.

The ad features a variety of girls and women including one scene of a girl in the shower with blood dripping down her leg while another is seen taking off a blood stained pad.

Ad Standards – which oversees advertising complaints – received a bombardment of objections.

‘I find it absolutely offensive and degrading to all women to show the blood flow and blood splattering everywhere. This is not on!’ one complaint said.

‘It is also extremely offensive and inappropriate to show young teenage girls getting their period. It appeals to pedophiles to see young girls in this manner and is exposing to young females and extremely dangerous for young girls,’ another complaint said.

‘I am a woman and am not happy to view this ad in front of others especially men in the room.

‘I can’t even watch the whole ad, it is so disgusting.’

Others said it was the equivalent to a toilet paper commercial showing feces.

While the advert came under fire from many, some social media users were in favour of the controversial video.

‘Finally! We shouldn’t be ashamed of what is completely normal’, one person wrote on Instagram.

‘Love the ad and much needed breaking down of stigma around PERIOD BLOOD,’ another tweeted.

‘This message is too important and it’s about time we get it loud and clear,’ one said on Facebook.

Asaleo Care responded to the complaints, saying the campaign was a way to tackle the stigma surrounding periods, and should be openly discussed in mainstream media.

Asaleo Care responded to the complaints, saying the campaign was a way to tackle the stigma surrounding periods, and should be openly discussed in mainstream media

‘Based on the Australian research, Libra decided launching the Blood Normal campaign in Australia and New Zealand was the right thing to do as the taboo was real in Australia too,’ the brand said in a statement.

‘Put simply, bleeding and having a period are both normal, so seeing them in pop culture and advertising should be too.’

Through research conducted by Libra, the brand found that a quarter of Australian women aged between 18-24 are too embarrassed to even purchase feminine hygiene products, while three in four believed periods had a stigma attached.

Dr Lauren Rosewarne, Senior Lecturer from the University of Melbourne also weighed in on the research.

‘While our society is becoming increasingly open and tolerant around topics such as transgenderism, homosexuality and mental illness, female menstruation is still something that seen as unacceptable for public discourse,’ Dr Rosewarne said.

‘If young girls are brought up to hide their period, then they will continue to feel and believe it’s something shameful, embarrassing and needing to be hidden.’

Ad Standards have dismissed the complaints given to the advertisement, finding it did not breach the industry’s code of ethics.