There Will Be Blood (A menstrual mission)
So here's what pisses me off even more than finding that I've leaked blood onto my favourite knickers: ads for tampons and sanitary towels. Yeah, yeah, we've all hooted at the efforts of yesteryear where women roller-skated in white hotpants but the problem is that bugger all has changed.
For Christ's sake, it's 2012. 2012! And we're still being coy about the one bodily function that every woman has every 28 days? The same bodily function that perpetuates the human race? That's not coy, that's psychotic, which is why we're left with 45 second ads that sell sanitary towels via the medium of blue water rather than blood.
Have you noticed how these ads pander to everyone except the very people who buy them? Women would be happy to hear voiceovers bang on about vaginas or not spilling gore onto their mother-in-law's sofa. So why don't advertisers do it? Well, it's because it'd offend everyone else. It's as absurd as any given Republican's rape debate. I mean, have you ever seen a car ad that didn't scream about horsepower or a perfume ad that didn't blart on about topnotes? Exactly. Blood is why tampons exist you gimp-toed fools! And you can't put the word in your ads?
Ok, so not everyone wants to see clots the size of Chihuahuas while they're waiting for part two of Masterchef but, darlings, that ain't my problem. My problem is that I spend five days a month trying to not stain any given upholstered surface and I need advertisers to deal with it. So, what if the world's not ready for it? Said world has had thousands of years to get used to it.
Apart from which isn't it easier to just be open about this shit? I have no idea what goes on in the darker recesses of advertising departments. Frankly I'd like to keep it that way. Yet every time I see a tampon ad I have a vision of panic on execs faces when they realise that the client wants a new campaign. Then they cram themselves into a room to develop said campaign while blushing furiously and refusing to use the words blood, muff, slop, clots, gussets, boil wash, drips, toilet-seat and the phrase clit-clinging string.
This means it's time for women to reclaim some of the ads that are aimed at us. I suggest carrying a red permanent marker at all times and amending every ad we ever come across whether it's on the Tube, in a supermarket or on the back of a mag. Where there are no vaginas, draw one. Where there are no blood stains, sketch one. Where there are no clots, scribble them on. If advertisers can't give us what we want then we'll bloody well have to give it to ourselves.