More than half of the states across the US collect sales tax on tampons and pads, which an organization called Period Equity says makes a woman’s period a luxury. To bring light to this inequity, the organization, J Walter Thompson and model/actor Amber Rose have teamed up for what seems to be a luxurious jewelry ad.
The ad calls out that these 36 states, by failing to classify menstrual products as a necessity and denying them an exemption from sales tax,have effectively deemed periods a luxury, so says Period Equity, a national law and policy organization dedicated to advancing menstrual access, affordability and safety.
The tongue-in-cheek campaign shows Rose sensually modeling diamond-encrusted jewelry pieces. As the female voice-over states the opulence of the pieces, she states: “Where else would you keep something that 36 states tax like a luxury?” as Rose pulls a tampon from the necklace.
“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,” said Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, co-founder of Period Equity and author of the new 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,” said Rose. “What I love about this campaign is its sarcastic, unedited realness. It was an honor 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.”
Added Sarah Barclay, executive creative director, J. Walter Thompson New York: “This tax targets half of the population, and many don’t even realize that the majority of states have it. So we wanted an idea that was so absurd, it couldn’t be ignored, and could help to ignite legislative action.”
The PSA, directed by Melanie Bridge, features three luxuriously bejeweled tampon holder necklaces exclusively designed by high-end jewelers in satirical luxury. The designers include; Ilaria Lanzoni, head designer of Hearts on Fire, celebrity jeweler Jade Trau and Kevin Grey, a multi-award-winning silversmith.
Bridge, director at The Sweet Shop said: “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."
Period Equity spearheaded the US campaign to eliminate the ‘tampon tax’ through the petition, Stop Taxing Our Periods! Period.