A New Zealand feminine hygiene company hasyanked a controversial new advertisement from the airwaves after many in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community objected to what some have deemed a “transphobic” message.
The ad for Libra tampons depicts a showdown between two women in a ladies’ restroom. Though it isn’t clear if one of the characters is intended to be a transgender woman or a drag queen, her blonde opponent is depicting as “winning” the competition when she pulls out a tampon, alongside the tagline “Libra gets girls.”
The clip instantly sparked a bevy of complaints after its Dec. 21 debut. “It’s extremely offensive because it’s pretty much saying the only way you can be a woman is to get your period,” Cherise Witehira, president of Agender NZ, told The New Zealand Herald. “Obviously we can’t menstruate. However, we identify as female.”
Others have taken to the company’s Facebook page to express their distate with the ad. “I’m not sure what is more disgusting, the blatant transphobia or the inclination that a period is what defines a woman’s femininity,” one user writes. “Seriously, what were you thinking?”
The Daily Mail cites an apology issued by Libra officials before they pulled the clip. “It was never intended to upset or offend anyone,” the statement reads. “Independent research was undertaken and the advertisement was viewed positively during that testing. Libra takes all feedback very seriously, and in response to this, we will immediately review our future position with this campaign based on the feedback received.”