Period Blood Ruled Not Offensive
The Libra Blood Normal OnDemand television advertisement shows various images relating to periods including red liquid being poured onto a sanitary pad, a woman asking for a pad across a crowded table and a man shopping for sanitary products. It also shows blood running down a woman’s leg in the shower and a pixelated sanitary pad being removed from underwear. The text says “Why is it considered unacceptable to show period blood? Periods are normal. Showing them should be too.”
There were two complaints for this advertisement, both of which viewed the ad on the TVNZ OnDemand platform during Shortland Street. One complainant said the advertisement was disgusting and the attempt to normalise periods had gone too far. They said the advertisement should not have been played before 8:30pm. The other complainant said the advertisement was inappropriate.
The Advertiser confirmed the advertisement was targeting females who were over 18 and that it would only have been served to profiles which matched the target audience. The Advertiser noted the Blood Normal campaign had encompassed TV and digital platforms in 13 different countries and any complaints to regional advertising standards boards had been dismissed with no part of the campaign banned by any country.
The Complaints Board noted the Libra Blood Normal advertisement was targeted at user profiles who were female and over 18 years of age and agreed this was an appropriate audience for the advertisement’s content. The Board acknowledged parts of the advertisement would challenge some viewers, but these images were directly related to the product being advertised and the advertisement’s message about normalising periods. The Complaints Board said there was nothing exploitative or degrading in the advertisement and given the target audience, the advertisement was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.
Accordingly, the Complaints Board ruled the complaint was Not Upheld.