In the US 36 states still collect sales tax on tampons and pads. In Australia in June this year, the federal Senate voted down a motion by the greens to remove the GST from all female sanitary products, a tax which does not apply to condoms or lubricant.
Female sanitary products are effectively considered to be luxuries in both countries.
The Liberals and Labor just voted down a Greens amendment to axe the tampon tax. What a bloody disgrace. pic.twitter.com/FZRVo6Uy8X
— Larissa Waters (@larissawaters) June 19, 2017
In the US, J.Walter Thompson and The Sweet Shop have created a tongue-in-cheek campaign for Period Equity PeriodEquity.org, a national law and policy organisation dedicated to advancing menstrual access, affordability and safety.
The campaign lampoons the tax by designing luxury, diamond encrusted jewellery pieces, that are actually tampon holders. Its video mimics luxury designer ads and features a glamorous Amber Rose, showing off a diamond encrusted 18k white gold necklace. Once it has drawn its audience in, the film takes a turn, revealing that the necklace is actually a tampon holder…
…and asks the question, “where else would you keep something that 36 states tax like a luxury?”
The campaign launched Amber Rose’s OPENed Women’s Conference and annual SlutWalk on September 30 in Los Angeles.
“This tax targets half of the population, and many don’t even realise that the majority of states have it,” said Sarah Barclay, executive creative director, J. Walter Thompson New York. “So we wanted an idea that was so absurd, it couldn’t be ignored, and could help to ignite legislative action.”
“We were thrilled to collaborate on this project with JWT and Amber Rose. There’s a long road ahead in the fight for safe and accessible menstrual products for all, as well as instigating open, shame-free conversation around periods. This campaign, coupled with Amber’s unflinchingly strong voice on gender issues, is a smart approach to drumming up much needed discourse around menstrual equity, and calling for systemic change as well,” stated Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, co-founder of Period Equity and author of the book, Periods Gone Public: Taking a Stand for Menstrual Equity.
“The fact that most states still view tampons as a ‘luxury’ is another example of the gender inequality in this country that both the SlutWalk and OPENed Women’s Conference aim to combat,” added women’s issues advocate, Amber Rose. “What I love about this campaign is its sarcastic, unedited realness. It was an honour to be a part of and I hope the message, and the beautiful necklaces, grab people’s attention to help get this ridiculous tax overturned.”
The PSA was directed by The Sweet Shop managing partner and director, Melanie Bridge. “The tax on
menstrual hygiene products is unacceptable in my mind, and this is a project I wanted to be
behind. Amber is not only striking and dynamic, but she’s also a celebrity who puts her money where her mouth is in terms of standing up for women and defending their rights. She’s a person who knows how to use her influence in today’s world,” she commented.
The tampon holder necklaces were created for the campaign by Ilaria Lanzoni, head designer of Hearts on Fire, celebrity jeweller, Jade Trau, and Kevin Grey, a multi-award winning silversmith.
Client: Period Equity
Founder: Jennifer Weiss-Wolf
Founder: Laura Strausfeld
Agency: J. Walter Thompson New York
Executive Creative Director: Sarah Barclay
Creative Director: Yana Hunt
Copywriters: Danielle White & Christopher Phillips
Head of Production: Anthony Nelson
Agency Producer: Gillian Blain
Global President: Claire Capeci
Account Manager: Adaire Carey
Global Planning Director: Marina Pen
Project Manager: Drazen Kupres
Production Company: The Sweet Shop
Director: Melanie Bridge
Executive Producer: Laura Thoel
Bidding Producer: Carolyn Pedrossian
Line Producer: Michelle Stark
Director of Photography: Danny Ruhlmann
Production Designer: Erin Dallesandro
Still Photographer: Howard Wise
Editor: Lindsey Nadolski
Post Producer: Jennifer Gotharb