As PERIOD gears up for the first-ever National Period Day on 19 October, the organisation shared a new public service announcement on its social channels this morning. Created by BBDO San Francisco and sponsored by Seventh Generation, this PSA highlights the glaring insight that if faces were bleeding, someone would do something.
In the startling campaign, a group of people are featured speaking passionately to the camera in what soon takes a sobering turn when each person’s face begins to bleed. The campaign was created with the appreciation that, as humans, we are hard-wired to respond dramatically to blood. However, it also points out the fact that when blood is hidden, it becomes too easy to be ignored.
Not having the means to purchase sanitary tampons and pads means not being able to go to school or work, the campaign rightly points out. A menstruator’s time of the month should not mean time away from the education or wages they need.
“Society might be getting ever-so-slightly more comfortable acknowledging that periods exist, but until we are ok with women free-bleeding in the streets, we better work harder to make pads and tampons accessible to all,” said Kate Catalinac, Creative Director at BBDO San Francisco.
PSA sponsor Seventh Generation has long worked towards period equity, including ingredient disclosure and access to safe period care products. Across the brand’s full portfolio of period care products, including pads and tampons, 43 cents per package – representative of the average cost of the tampon tax in the United States, is donated to organisations working to reverse period inequity such as PERIOD.
Ashley Orgain, Global Director of Advocacy and Sustainability at Seventh Generation, expressed her pride in the fact that Seventh Generation is on a mission to help reverse period inequity and is working with PERIOD and raising awareness to do so. Access to safe period care products is a human essential, she added.
Youth activists are gearing up to rally across the US on October 19, 2019, for National Period Day. The rallies will mark a single day of organised effort across all 50 states to raise awareness around the issue of period poverty, demanding accessibility to period products and calling for an end to luxury taxes on menstrual products.
Currently, 35 states in the US still have a sales tax on period products considering them luxury items, while products for men’s sexual health such as Viagra are considered essential goods.
The average woman will spend an average of US$11k/£8.6k in their lifetime on tampons, and one in four women struggled to afford period products in the last year, due to a lack of income. The most recent city-based study on period poverty in St. Louis revealed that “46 percent of low-income women had to choose between food and menstrual hygiene products.” PERIOD along with BBDO San Francisco and Seventh Generation are working to raise awareness on just this issue with their ‘SEE RED’ PSA.
“It is really phenomenal to work with such incredible partners like Seventh Generation and BBDO San Francisco to advance this Menstrual Movement. Five years ago, when I started this organisation at the age of 16, I would have never dreamed of mobilising a campaign like this, with activists in all 50 US states — but I am feeling more fired-up than ever before, and ready for our first-ever National Period Day. 2020 is going to be big,” said Nadya Okamoto, Founder and Executive Director at PERIOD.