TV ad shows actual period blood
In an Australian-first, Libra's new campaign is depicting actual blood in a bid to tackle period stigma.
The #bloodnormal campaign feature the experience of periods and period blood openly and honestly in an attempt to normalise periods in mainstream culture, according to Libra.
"Contrary to popular belief, women don't bleed blue liquid, they bleed blood," the company tagline reads. "Periods are normal. Showing them should be too."
The campaign - launched on prime-time TV during Survivor on Sunday night - caused more than a stir on the internet, with many taking to social media to share their thoughts.
"Twitter has gone nuts with people unsure if blood dripping down a woman's leg is suitable family viewing, while others are absolutely loving it," a spokesperson for Libra told news.com.au.
Some commenters questioned where the line would be drawn, hypothetically applying the same marketing techniques to other personal hygiene products, like toilet paper and condoms.
#libra #bloodnormal #advert— JustMe (@JustMe68658649) August 22, 2019
The last think I want to see is body discharge from ANY orifice. Get it off...offensive, or are suggesting we have toilet paper adverts with someone actually going? #realshit
So our society has officially fallen off a cliff. Actually?? #bloodnormal should we show condoms full of semen? How about toilet paper smeared with faeces? That’s all normal right?— Andrew Duthie (@AndrewDuthie3) August 19, 2019
My father raised me & was open about periods. I'm raising a daughter & we are open about periods. I am comfortable to talk about periods.— Jaala (@Jaala_May) August 19, 2019
But for me there's a massive difference between "normalising" periods and showing period blood on tv in a dedicated campaign
Others were more than supportive of Libra's message, relieved to finally see an accurate depiction of menstruation.
#bloodnormal amazing ad! Finally, reality! Yaaaaaaaaay!— Zoe Tunnicliff (@zoe_tunnicliff) August 21, 2019
#BLOODNORMAL ad had me shook but so happy. The shot that hit me was the girl in the shower. That was real, that made me smile. So glad we are normalising periods again... sad we have to normalise it though. Half the population bleed, I’d say that’s pretty normal— Jenn (@Vampjier) August 19, 2019
"For Libra, as the only Australian made brand of feminine care products, it is so important to us that we employ local creative talent and assets to help us to amplify the message to Aussie girls and women that periods are normal," said Caitlin Patterson, executive general manager of Asaleo Care's retail business unit.
Ms Patterson added, "Periods are normal and showing them should be too.
"The shift we want to see is not just about getting women to talk about periods to their friends and partners, and for parents to speak openly about it with their children, but also to identify the root of the problem.
"There's a notable absence of periods in popular culture, from Instagram to movies and even advertising. Until recently, the advertising industry has contributed by showing periods as blue.
"With the blood normal campaign, we wanted to flip this and show periods as exactly what they are, red blood," she told news.com.au.
New research launched this week from Libra revealed some disturbing statistics to accompany what some have called a "disturbing" and "unnecessary" ad.
Eight in 10 Australian women go to great lengths to hide their period. "They also told us that periods are currently more of a taboo than taking drugs, sexually transmitted diseases and mental health issues," Ms Patterson explained.
"The mix of reactions to our TVC highlights how far we still have to go but we are inspired by the messages from women all around the country thanking us for daring to start this conversation."
For younger girls, their shame of menstruation is so bad that almost 70 per cent would rather fail a class subject than have their peers know they were on their period.
Dr Lauren Rosewarne, Senior Lecturer in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the
University of Melbourne, said the stats were simply a product of modern society.
"Perhaps that's because periods aren't something we commonly see on TV, in movies or on Instagram - 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."