While the New York City subways are chock full of cleavage heavy ads for weight loss supplements and breast implants, it seems that anything below the belt is clearly a bridge too far.
It seems that Outfront Media, a third party group that approves ads for New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority, recently rejected a series of ads for Thinx. The company that makes period underwear says the ads were rejected because they mentioned periods.
The artsy ads feature models dressed fairly conservatively, considering these are ads for lingerie, alongside suggestive images of egg yolks and peeled grapefruit.
According to Miki Agrawal, the co-founder and CEO Thinx, the campaigns image was deliberate. But Agrawal and Veronica del Rosario, Thinx’s marketing representative are still surprised that the ads were outright rejected.
According to e-mail exchanges between Agrawal and an Outfront Media representative, obtained by Mic.com, the ads “seem to have a bit too much skin,” and the fruit and egg imagery,”regardless of the context, seems inappropriate.” Concern was also expressed over the word “period.”
del Rosario also shared her e-mail exchange with the ad rep.
“I stated [to an Outfront representative] that it was extremely disheartening that [certain other ads] could fly, but something for women that speaks directly to women isn’t OK by them,” del Rosario told Mic. “He replied, ‘This is not a women’s issue. Don’t try to make it a women’s rights thing.'”
For those of us who ride the subway regularly in New York City, the double standard is pretty glaring. Year after year, we’re treated to weight loss ads featuring women in skimpy bikinis, among other suggestive advertisements. A current set of ads for breast augmentation even features women holding fruit over their chests.
I'm fully raging against this NY subway ad for Doctors Plastic Surgery. Sends a terrible message to women & girls. pic.twitter.com/evAijY6ejN
— Meridith (@strawbgirl) April 25, 2015
It’s not clear, at this point, whether or not we’ll be seeing ads for Thinx in the near future. But Agrawal has continued to reach out to Outfront Media.
“Just as New York City is potentially about to pass legislation to scrap the tax on feminine hygiene products, the MTA is not letting the word ‘period’ appear in the subway,” Agrawal said. “We can objectify women in their lingerie, but the minute we acknowledge that they might be bleeding in their underwear, it’s no longer acceptable.”