In Depth

Bodyform ad is the first ever to feature red ‘blood’ on a sanitary pad

The brand ditches blue liquid, saying ‘it’s about bloody time’ stigma around periods was erased

Bodyform has made headlines as the first brand to make a TV advert featuring ‘blood’ on a sanitary pad rather than the traditional blue liquid.

The ad demonstrates the pad’s absorbency by having someone pour a vial of ‘blood’ - actually made from corn syrup and red food colouring - onto a pad, replacing the usual blue liquid used in adverts for sanitary products, the BBC reports.

The 20-second clip also shows blood running down a woman’s leg as she showers, a man buying sanitary pads in a shop and woman in a sanitary pad costume at a fancy dress party. It ends with the tagline “Periods are normal. Showing them should be too.” 

The ad was made as part of the brand’s #bloodnormal campaign, which aims to erase the stigma associated with periods, after a survey conducted by the company found that 74% of people wanted to see more realistic representations of periods in advertising. 

“We know that the 'period taboo' is damaging,” said Bodyform's Traci Baxter.

“It means people are more likely to struggle with the effects of period poverty, whilst others struggle with their mental health and wellbeing. 

“We want to change this by challenging the taboo and ultimately removing the stigma, making it even easier for anyone to talk about periods, now and in the future.”

The video ad already has 17,000 views on Facebook and has sparked conversation on social media. Many applauded the brand for tackling the stigma.

Although some thought the ‘blood’ was unnecessary:

The Self Esteem Team’s Nadia Mendoza told the Huffington Post UK that the use of blue liquid in period adverts isn’t only unrealistic but also damaging.

“Have you ever seen a woman bleed blue liquid? No, so why is this still the image that so many associate with periods,” she asked.

“It not only suggests that period blood is unsightly, shameful and something that should live firmly behind closed doors, it also paints a wholly unrealistic picture for young girls who are yet to start their periods. ” 

In an October Bodyform survey, shared with Huffington Post UK, 52% of girls said they would rather get bullied at school than discuss periods with their parents and 87% said they went to great lengths to hide their periods.

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