These Fake Finance Ads Highlight a Real Problem: Period Poverty

Campaign for French nonprofit says women struggle to afford sanitary items

Outdoor ads raise the awareness of period poverty. Règles Élémentaires / Serviceplan

Sanitary products, for those short of money, can cost a fortune. Over a lifetime, sanitary products can set women back €8,000 ($9,520), according to French nonprofit Règles Élémentaires.

Règles Élémentaires was set up in 2015 distributes free sanitary items to women in precarious financial situations struggling to afford them.

The charity has launched a new outdoor campaign, by agency Serviceplan, to raise awareness that 1.7 million women in France experience some kind of “menstrual insecurity”—with some having to choose between their personal hygiene expenses and buying food.

At the same time, a fifth of women avoid going to school or work during their period, the organization said.

The outdoor campaign, across 100 billboards, was created to look like ads for financial products selling “menstrual credit.” The fake product aims to give women credit to use on period protection in order to highlight the cost.

The topic of menstruation has undergone a significant transformation. In 2018, for example, Libresse shattered stigmas with #BloodNormal, a high-profile, award-winning campaign from AMV BBDO. Other brands have followed suit, making the conversation much more direct and honest.

And earlier this week, Scotland became the first nation to provide free period products for all, creating an important precedent while creating critical access.

CREDITS:
Client: Règles Élémentaires 
Agency: Serviceplan
Media Agency: Mediaplus
Title: Le Crédit Menstruel (Menstrual Credit)
Creative Director: Daniel Perez
Creative Team: Aurélien Bigot & Benjamin Le Coz
Artistic Director: Tram-Ahn Nguyen
Advertising Managers: Tara Heuzé-Sarmini & Laura Pajot
Account Directors: Delphine Abou & Anïa Mouvet
Production: Trinity Films
TV Producer: Frank Willocq

@saramayspary sara.spary@adweek.com Sara Spary is a freelance journalist based in London. She's been a reporter for eight years, covering advertising and consumer brands.
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