back to article Sanitary towel firm's 'CEO' sets traumatised man straight

Sanitary towel outfit Bodyform has gained itself some serious internet kudos with a video response to a Brit chap's complaint that women's periods are not a rollercoaster ride of joy and outdoor activity, as the firm's ads suggest. Richard Neill recently challenged Bodyform on Facebook: Hi, as a man I must ask why you have …


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  1. Arbee
    Thumb Up

    Classic. The blue water she is drinking is a particularly nice touch.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Crimson landslide...

      isn't that rumoured to be the title of an episode in the next session of Doctor Who?

      1. Captain Hogwash Silver badge

        Re: Crimson landslide...

        She should have said crimson tide methinks.

    2. David Webb

      I think the part at the end where she farts is the real nice touch here, showing that women are indeed just like men, only without the male bits and.... actually, how many men would really post on a topic about a females time of the month without running away running and screaming in terror? Holy shit, that chick got men talking about periods!

      1. Mycho Silver badge

        I liked the pencil-snap. So calm on the exterior...

        1. David Webb

          I liked the pencil-snap. So calm on the exterior...

          That's a metaphor for snapping something else.......

          1. Mycho Silver badge

            That's a metaphor for snapping something else.......

            Nothing gets past these Registards, does it?

  2. John G Imrie Silver badge

    10 out of 10

    For letting the marketing bods get to this before the lawyers.

  3. Ian K
    Thumb Up

    As I believe the hip young types put it these days...


  4. Piloti
    Thumb Up

    That is really quite funny.......

  5. FartingHippo

    As Miss Poppins would say...

    ...Practically Perfect In Every Way.

    (I bet Mary's periods were accompanied by cute animated animals)

  6. PaulWizard


    That is all

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well done - bravo. The fart tops it for me...

  8. WorkingFromHome


    Call me a cynical old sod if you like but this whole thing looks like a set up to me.

    Is everyone sure the original "complaint" was real or was it just the start of a planned piece of PR?

    Nicely done but I suspect not genuine...

    1. Pinkerton
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Marketing...

      The poster of the original complaint has been on Facebook since 2009 and has acquired over 360 'friends' in that time. I'm sure if you could be arsed, you could search through those friends to see if any of them have links to any part of the Bodyform empire, ad agencies or whatever.

      On the other hand it could just be some bloke recycling a veeeeeeeery old joke and the company on the receiving end having a sense of humour and knowing how to exploit it.

      1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

        Re: Re: Marketing...

        I had a look at the guy on Facebook. I don't reckon he's part of a PR stunt.

        Whatever. Big up rispek to Bodyform for the vid.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Marketing...

        Are you aware that PR companies pay normal people to write stuff in their Facebook / Twatter accounts? There was a Register article about an automatic grass mower not that long ago, and a couple of years back my village did the same thing to attract more tourism. It's just another tool in the marketer's toolbox.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Marketing...

          Are you aware that PR companies pay normal people to write stuff in their Facebook / Twatter accounts?

          Horror! Can this be true? Next you'll tell us that sock-puppets and spambots are real too.

          Pretty clever of the diabolical marketers to wait three years to respond to their Astroturfed provocation, though. That should fool all but the most insightful observers. Good thing Captain Hogwash and the Super Cynics (with special guest star WorkingFromHome and featuring the Coward Corps) caught it for us!

          Certainly there's a tremendous difference between a spontaneous joke response, and one that was a set-up. Remind me again what that difference is, would you?

    2. Evan Essence

      Re: Marketing...

      I don't buy that. If it were fake, the "complaint" wouldn't have bad spacing round the punctuation, and would be more polished overall.

    3. Captain Hogwash Silver badge

      Re: Marketing...

      Even if the original "complaint" wasn't part of a marketing/PR effort, it was surely not meant as a genuine complaint but rather as a lame attempt at humour. The fact that the video response happened at all seems to confirm either the previously suggested setup or that some really dim types didn't get it to believe that a response was necessary.

      1. NogginTheNog

        Re: Marketing...

        I think you're missing the point of PR: to get people talking about your product. Remind me again, what are we doing here...?

        1. JetSetJim Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Marketing...

          Yeah, we're talking about it, but how many are we going to buy as a market segment? :-)

          Excellent campaign, though.

        2. Captain Hogwash Silver badge

          Re: Marketing...

          We're not talking about a product. We're talking about the motivation behind a moderately amusing internet video.

          1. Mycho Silver badge

            Re: Marketing...

            I thought we were talking about farts.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Marketing...

      Yeah, me too, a lifelong cynic. But if it is a setup who cares? It's actually funny - really funny, and brilliantly executed. That from memory is what a good deal of TV advertising did years ago; it was witty or stylish in some way that allowed it to claim a minor place in the culture as sufficiently entertaining not to annoy. Marketing these days is pushy, deceitful, breathless and sweaty, hence no one pays it much attention. Fuck aspirational, humour (particularly self parody) will do me just fine.

      1. Captain Hogwash Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Marketing...

        "breathless and sweaty" has it's place :-)

    5. kevca

      Re: Marketing...

      The response video was certainly coordinated with a press launch. This article appeared at exactly the same time the video was put up. Note that the article already claims it's viral. I saw the video at about 400 views at this point.

      This was 8 days from the original post, which probably didn't get popular until a few days after posting. You'd suspect that getting press lined up, making the video, getting clearance for the campaign, would all take some time to organise.

      I'm guessing the poster was genuine, as in they are a real person. I'm assuming Bodyform asked them to post it, however, or there's some connection there. Cynical me...

  9. P.Nutt

    Title Space for Rent or Sale

    Got to love a company with a sense of humour lol

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Title Space for Rent or Sale

      Perhaps, but be aware any sense of humour only exists to sell products that aren't really necessary anyway. *

      Getting an actress + minimal set crew isn't something an employee has done out of a sense of fun; a business case has been made for this.

      * The "cups" work just as well as the pads, and are MUCH cheaper over a woman's lifetime. (Majority opinion of the the three women I've actually discussed this with.)

      1. Neil B

        Re: Title Space for Rent or Sale

        Well done @AC, you've torn down the veil. Couldn't fool you for long!

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: Torn *down* the veil?

          You've been reading ...The Register!

  10. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Bodyform advertisements were lampooned in mid nineties on a sketch in The Ben Elton Show, along similar lines to Richard Neill's complaint. Mr Elton also exposed the dangers of women uncontrollably swinging their hair around in slow motion after using shampoo and conditioner. But well played, Bodyform!

    The adverts that really need bashing are for skin care, with their fake 'Swiss laboratories', dubious statistics ("87% of women agree!* ... [small print:] *study of 37 women") and pseudo scientific animations of their product 'in action'. They don't do real science and statistics, or real women, (or women in science!) any favours at all.

    Frank Zappa had a spin on it, too:

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well remembered!

      I'd forgotten Ben Elton had done that routine.

      I'd just like to point out that you made a small, but important flaw in your summing up of the dubious statistics. It's an easy mistake as you quite rightly end where the adverts do. What they fail to add to that small print as they do not have to legally declare it yet is this:

      *study of 37 women chosen from carefully selected consumer panels consisting of women who already buy our products and have a proven track record of believing any shit we tell them.")

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Dave 126

      Good call re: Shampoo, or those make up / hide your age adverts.

      "87% of women agreed that they skin appeared more radiant."

      The keyword there being appeared. You could give them water or 'crisp and dry' and the placebo affect will make their skin appear radiant.

      1. garetht t

        Re: @Dave 126

        Also, weasel words like "can help hide the appearance of wrinkles."

        ie. In a study of 10000 women, one of them thought her wrinkles looked better. So it *can* do it!

        My comments are proven to reduce weightloss

        when combined with an active lifestyle and a healthy diet.

    3. dssf

      the 37s

      And THAT is the 37 that *


      - did not develop skin rashes, experience diarrhea, constipation, spontaneously-inverted eyelids, pupil recolorization, 360° head spins, vomiting, dizziness, prolonged mensteuation, excessively dry urination, scratchy throat, itchy ass, enlarged knuckles, curled toes, visions of screaming lab animals, or other "experimental miss adventures prior to the survey...


      And not the "The 37s" from ST Voyager

      1. dssf

        Re: the 37s

        btw, just in case, my posting is related not to sanitary napkins but to skin lotions. Some are rash makers for some people. Some are egregious wastes of consumer cash. But, the FDA and the market tolerate all sorts of non-lethal bullshit in the market even if the product does not deserve shelf space.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Made up stats

      I think you've made up those stats.

      In a study of 37 women, 32 women agreeing would be 86% and 33 women agreeing would be 89%.

      It's not mathematically possible for a study of 37 women to result in 87% of them agreeing.

      I call shenanigans.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Made up stats

        >In a study of 37 women, 32 women agreeing would be 86% and 33 women agreeing would be 89%. It's not mathematically possible for a study of 37 women to result in 87% of them agreeing.

        'A girl can change her mind, can't she?'

        I made up the figures on the spot, as well you know! I did consider calculating figures that would work, but felt it was overkill to make the point! : D

  11. TRT Silver badge

    This is not funny...

    I was part of that test panel in the 80s. *shudders at memory*


  12. Ralph B


    The fake CEO in the fake response to the probably fake Facebook post claims that the imagery used in the adverts - horse-riding, sky-diving, etc. - are "metaphors".

    Now, a "metaphor" is:

    1. A figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.

    2. A thing regarded as representative or symbolic of something else, esp. something abstract.

    So, the ad images are metaphors to ... what exactly? Something similarly positive? Happiness? Excitement? No? What then?

    Or is "metaphor" just an advertising term for "lie"?

    Sorry to be so pompous about this but words and their meanings matter.

    1. Graham Dawson

      Re: Metaphor?

      They're a metaphor for the relative freedom from misery that sanitary products apparently provide women and presumably for the joy that comes with not having to stuff rags down your pants and rinse them out in the river every day.

      Seems all those years I spent at university have finally found a use...

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Graham Dawson

        Re: Metaphor?

        There's an allegory in that somewhere.

  13. Mike 68

    PR - you're doing it right

    By the way, is the 80s ad with the Heart-style vocals the best ad ever? In terms of being memorable, I doubt there's anyone over 30 who could forget it. WooooAAAAAAAAOOOAH BWODYFOOOOOORMM

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: PR - you're doing it right

      I doubt there's anyone over 30 who could forget it.

      Maybe so, but we're all trying very hard to forget it and you are not fucking helping.

    2. TRT Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: music for Bodyform ads...

      It could have been worse if they got Winifred Atwell to do the score.

      I can just imagine a piece titled "The Jam Rag".

      Paris for never letting things get in the way.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: music for Bodyform ads...

        (Damn linkyness fail!)

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. A J Stiles
    Thumb Up


    Drinking the blue stuff and farting -- pure class!

    Periods are just a bodily function, for crying out loud. One that's been happening to half the human race, every four weeks, since time immemorial. You would have thought people would have got used to the idea by now.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: Genius

      "every four weeks"

      Like buggery is it.

      My wife's periods are usually about 21 days apart. With a week before-hand, and a week during, this makes her human about 1 week in three.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Genius

        "every four weeks"

        Like buggery?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Only once every four weeks

        and lasts 28 days.

        (need anonyomous troll icon)

    2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: Genius

      As we appear to be in nit-picky mood at the moment, it is significantly less than half who could use the products once you take into account the pre-pubescent and post-menopausal females.

      Given that a woman only menstruates for 40 years or so (Wikipedia) out of a an average life expectancy of 80 for women (stat. from the 2011 CIA yearbook again via Wikipedia), I would guess that it is no more than about 30% of the population, once you factor in the higher life expectancy of women.

      He's a statistics teacher, obviously!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who is the actress?

    She deserves a Bafta.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How long was between the original FB post and the video responce? Was it enough time to create this highly polished piece? Read FB post, decide to play on it, write script, get client approval, audition actress, book set and staff/eqipment, film sequence, perform post-film editing, get final approval, post to youtube.

    To me the quality of the video is just too good.

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Eight days. More than enough time to knock together the video.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        What's the betting that they get an e-mail of this sort every few days? The youtube video is probably their attempt at stopping the oh-so-funny-my-sides-are-splitting attempts at humour that they constantly receive in their inbox

        1. Tom Wood

          PR types come up with pitch for "viral" ad, write script, select actress, get approvals etc ahead of time.

          They just wait for a suitable facebook post to "respond" to, and when it comes along, kick all the wheels in motion - fill in the guy's name in the script and shoot the ad.

          Of course a conspiracy theorist might say they just paid this guy to write his comments so they could run the ad.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        ... we've done similar productions end-to-end in 4 days. Pre-production e.g. shot lists, storyboarding for a 2 min piece can easily be started in the morning and by lunchtime you start parallel production so by the time all your scripting et all is finished at the end of the first day, all your crew, kit and location are ready to go for the 2nd day, film it in a day leaving the 3rd and fourth for post. Easily achievable on a small budget with a small crew.

    2. PassiveSmoking
      IT Angle

      Don't let the IT professionals find out about Aunt Irma, you know how suggestible they are!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dr Alban

    Anyone mind the advert that ruined that 'It's my life' song by Dr Alban?

    Could never take it seriously again without visualising a windsurfing or rollerskating lady skating into the sunset.

    Bit like that 'Young Folks' song that has been ruined by Homebase. Shame on you Peter Bjorn and John!

    1. Tom 11

      Re: Dr Alban

      Aye, homebase totally bum raped that song, it is quite a glorious little song, I owned for a bout a week until I heard the first homebase advert, now they ruined it, same with 'Flat beat' & Levi :(

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Dr Alban

        And that Moby 'Play' album, but at least they waited a year. Took about ten years after the adverts to be able to go back to it.

  18. Chris Walker 1
    Thumb Up


    Absolute marketing genius

  19. David_H

    Blue water

    When I went to the Tambrands site to maintain their warehousing system (IT link!) I was made by my colleagues to go on a tour of their R & D labs and they used red water (and I think glycerine) mixes. It was all a little bid to real for a lad who had grown up without exposure to such things!

  20. Chris 3


    Am I the only one who finds the tone of the response a bit 'off'? Perhaps I'm come over all aspergers, but I can't quite make out the tone that their going for. At one point it feels like a witty rejoinder, but at another it feels like a rather agressive, sarcastic response.


    1. John G Imrie Silver badge

      Re: spud25

      I think it must be her time of the month.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: spud25

      I know what you mean, and I think I also know where that feeling comes from.

      You got that because the response was made too personal. I like a windup like anyone else, but you do that with subtlety - you throw in a remark or play back some parts in a way that makes your point and that's where you stop. This ad is in that context *way* too long and *way* too personal, this response is more that of an axe murderer..

      Which means some other commentards are right: It's that time of the month again.

  21. ISYS

    As they say in America

    Funny - Period!

  22. LinkOfHyrule

    Bluewater I mean blue water

    So WKD is actually the stuff that used to be to used on sanitary towel adverts? I cannot say I am surprised!

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We took 37 middle-aged women who are desperate to look younger. We gave them a tub of grease - and a bit of pseudo-science - that we told them would make them look younger. Several weeks later, those 37 women were convinced they look younger.

    Buy our product it "scientifically proven" to make you look younger!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The majority of people are "desperate" to look younger.. unless they are ugly to start with....or more interested in pies

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The worst thing that ever happened to me was visiting the neighborhood mean (russian) kids house. The bullys. I went because I was becoming a bully, but when I was there one day, the fuckers brought out a little wooden box, inside was a bloody rag from their mom, they shoved it in my face. It was more choreographed bullyness than trauma. Once it touched your face the game was over. Everyone in that family was a weight lifter so fighting them was impossible.

    I wasn't the only one, but I did get some joy in watching others go through the same thing as they years went by.

    1. LinkOfHyrule

      Re: 1970's

      You should write your autobiography - I'd buy it

      1. Esskay

        Re: 1970's

        Who else is going to write it?!

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    opposites failure

    Blood is red, the opposite color is green, not blue, unless your blood is yellow

    ( ".")

    1. Chris Miller

      Re: opposites failure

      It depends whether you're doing additive or subtractive mixing. What you wrote is true for paint, but on your screen the opposite of red is cyan.

  26. Fitz72


    Complaining gets you know where

  27. Ubermik

    I too wouldnt be surprised if the initial comments weren't infact posted by bodyform in order to stage this low budget advertising as its hardly "genius" at work to come up with this when you take a step back

    As for the response if we assume its not staged then I also wonder if every person who works at body form is either so up their own arse, in love with Germaine Greer, a paid up member of the misandrists party or just doesnt actually have a sense of humour to be truthful

    As the "response" itself does (to me) seem to have a bit of a passive aggressive/snipey/condescending sort of undertone rather being pure fun and humour. And also seems to have completely missed the (again, in my opinion) clearly satirical ironic humour in the initial post it was responding to

    A complete company wide lack of humour would of course explain missing the humour in the initial post as well as the negative undertones in the response.

    But so would the entire comanies employees periods all syncrhonising and occuring during the week they made this response

    I did actually find it funny enough to chuckle at, but this was lessened by feeling theres a distinct and clearly vitriolic undertone also present. Bad time of the month I guess lol

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      while I agree with you

      about the aggressive angle, I suppose it was decided on, as "this is how the boys play". And they do, but only when they know each other rather well, so they know the "aggressive" is not real. And when they're boys. Girls are NOT invited.

      And yes, I believe the whole post / response is a full, pre-planned setup. but it works, exactly because is is creating controversy (is the post real, is the whole thing staged?). Some of you say "ah, but they chose the wrong target audience, we're not buying tampons and wingdings anyway". And yet... you ARE spreading the message. How many of you will, sooner than later, share the story with you (female) partners? They will be forced to, or feel obliged to, look at this video, to give you their reaction, comment, etc., and those females are a target audience. On top of which they - obviously - communicate with their female friends, and some of those, possibly a majority, will transmit the message further. On top of that, other media, which can't be arsed to come up with real news, will pick the "story" up, from bbc to daily mail.

      I'm not saying we're facing a world-scale viral infection, I'm only saying, it is working.

      1. Esskay

        Re: while I agree with you

        I think the vitriolic tone is due to the fact that, although the video is a response to a man, it's a product for women - and it's clearly an ad aimed at women.

        Not entirely dissimilar to the ads (at least the ones we get here in Australia) where the girl walks in the front door and the guy is using tampons/pads to play with the cat, dress up, etc and basically acts like a massive fucking moron - it's an attempt to illustrate the idea that "men don't understand what you're going through - but WE do."

        The anger is supposed to be a feeling that women can relate to on the subject - an attempt to get them "on-side".

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think this video, although pretty funny, is a distraction from the truth that sanitary product, nappy, soap, cosmetic, washing powder and Bounce adverts really are a load of old bollocks.

    Sorry, I'm not buying it (pun intended): I'm with the Facebook poster.

  29. David_H

    That time of year

    It that time of year when they print Holly on the outside of the Tampax packets - all ready for the Christmas period!

    1. Andus McCoatover

      Re: That time of year

      "...when they print Holly...."

      Sure as hell they don't print a piccie of Mistletoe....Odd, that....

  30. Bad Beaver
    Thumb Up

    Bloody excellent

    Nuff said :D

  31. The Mighty Spang

    dodges the point

    when i'm ill/in pain/fucked off i know i'm a tetchy git and hole up in the study to keep from snapping at people. thats because i know i'm being unreasonable and as a loving, caring person I want to avoid causing undue distress.

    the wife on the other hand almost goes out of her way to invent invisible traps and let you fall in for a mauling. anything. not hoovering the lounge (even though you cant see anything that needed hoovering, she must be looking at the knap of the bloody fabric), not washing the car (apparantly thats my job, washing the outside of a tin can that other people look at and i dont as im f*cking inside the thing. drives nice, clean inside, the outside could have 'i love jimmy saville' spray painted on it and i couldnt give a toss), not taking out a bin bag i didn't even know was there because i haven't installed cctv in the f*cking kitchen and its been there for 3 minutes (again apparently taking a bin bag 4 meters into the garden is always my job for some unknown reason). at times like that you wonder if there wasn't cars, bin bags and spiders you'd be out on your arse.

    an old local comedy band covered this topic years ago in a bitter sweet song ( ). The lead singer apparently wrote from his experience in all his songs. gets a little dark towards the end - 'i could think of better ways, than spending my Saturdays, in the ward of Southend casualty, PMT stands for Pre, Meditated Treachery, better duck here comes some more well aimed crockery'

  32. Herby Silver badge

    Of course, there is a solution to all of this!!

    Get a hysterectomy. Solves the problem quite nicely. Of course, your female companion will STILL go through the mood swings and "personal summers", but they can start skydiving right away.

    Unfortunately the solution at some time (age dependent) is worse than the cure. But considering that my spouse had this operation a few years ago, there is MUCH LESS of a problem.

    Live and learn.

  33. Simon R. Bone
    Thumb Up

    Good work - also reminds me of

    the blackcurrant tango ad from a few years ago.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Dam my penis"

    Would that not result in some kind of disastrous flooding event at some point?

  35. Anonymous Coward

    Ok, I thought it over...

    And I'm gonna write it anyway.

    This particular brand isn't available here (though the package looks somewhat familiar but then again....) so I decided to take a closer look to the ads myself. From the article and the commercials I found on YouTube (see here (YouTube link) for example) I can only come to one (maybe two) conclusions...

    Either the complaining guy doesn't have a real gf or he's a self absorbed arrogant S.O.B. The reason I come to that conclusion is because IMO the ad makes it perfectly clear: This isn't about "us", its about "them" (no offense)...

    Think about it; why is that girl walking around alone? Why is she going to a concert, trying to climb a construction, then wrestling her way into the subway only to end up trying to walk a marathon (sort off) ?

    I see sooo many matches with the way my SO behaves when its 'that time of the month'. Easily changing her mind on a whim is one of those. Quite frankly I got the message very clearly; this isn't about me; its about her. If SHE feels like going to concert and also feels like dragging me along SHE can. I'll just have to shut up and like it ;-)

  36. Andus McCoatover

    OK, How many wmen with PMT does it take to change a lightbulb?

    Her: "17"

    Me. "Huh? Why 17?

    Her: "IT JUST FUC*KING DOES, OK!!!!"

    (Been there..)

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