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Anatomy of an Ad podcast: Lovehoney and Essity challenge big tech


By Amy Houston | Senior Reporter

November 10, 2022 | 3 min read

In this week’s episode of The Drum’s Anatomy of an Ad podcast, Lovehoney’s head of sexual empowerment Johanna Rief and Essity’s global innovation, brand and communications director Tanja Grubner talk through the issues that both companies have with big tech.


Did you enjoy this week’s episode with Lovehoney and Essity? / The Drum

Earlier this year, The Drum caught up with Lovehoney about its grievances with Google. After posting the interview on LinkedIn, Tanja Gruber got in touch: Essity was having similar problems. We got them both in a room to compare notes and discuss potential solutions.

“Many people aren’t aware how difficult it is to advertise our products,” says Rief. “We are restricted when it comes to marketing.” As a sex toy brand, Lovehoney can’t advertise on social media, Google re-targeting is a big ‘no’ and TV ads will only air at nighttime. All the barriers mean that the brand has to be “super creative” with its marketing efforts.

It’s a similar story for Essity (Bodyform in the UK). Although they sell different products, the limitations are equally as strict.

“Ads are often taken off air or banned, content is being censored and that leads to a very distorted point of view,” says Gruber.

“We often get accused of objectifying women or causing widespread public offense, but we are only providing a product that women need to manage their period.”

To listen to the full interview and hear more about Lovehoney and Essity’s frustration with big tech, tune into this week’s installment of the Anatomy of an Ad podcast.

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