How To Sell a Tampon

How advertisers market products you’re not supposed to talk about.

Double X

Posted: Thursday, October 29, 09 11:21am
By Susan Kim

Throughout history (and in many parts of the world today), women used rags, sheepskin, or nothing at all to deal with their periods. Getting women to pay for something that had basically been free was a challenge for advertisers, especially given the intimate nature of the product. Ads for the earliest pads featured women who represented this ideal market: exquisite, exclusively white, and wealthy ladies of fashion and leisure. This idealized femcare world of designer frocks, exotic locales, and resorts lasted for decades.

See Slide Show – and listen to an upcoming interview with Susan Kim and Ellisa Stein co-authors of Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation, on my radio show on December 7.


Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.