New Zealand Law Society - Libra TV ad ruled not offensive

Libra TV ad ruled not offensive

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The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled that a commercial shown on peak-time television featuring various images relating to periods, including red liquid being poured onto a sanitary pad, is acceptable.

The Libra advertisement also contained images of a 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.”

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 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 ASA’s complaints board acknowledged parts of the ad would challenge some viewers, but these images were directly related to the product being advertised and the advertisement’s message about normalising periods. The 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.