New York City has rules for their subway ads, which can’t look too racy. And a set of new ads by Thinx, a company peddling knickers for women who’d like the option of forgoing pads and tampons during menstruation, have proven to be just too much for NYC’s (inconsistently) prim sensibilities.

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The Thinx campaign’s use of the word “period” in their ad’s wording is reportedly what offended Outfront Media, the advertising outfit that handles MTA ads, according to MIC, which has collected all the controversial ads for your viewing pleasure. Other versions feature an image of a peeled, halved grapefruit and a runny egg alongside women in midriff tops and panties, and Outfront was not impressed.

... the MTA prohibits ads that depict “sexual or excretory activities” or materials that promote a “sexually oriented business” — which Thinx, as a company that sells alternative menstrual products, is not.

Thinx CEO Miki Agrawal says the company is just trying to break down the conversational stigma around menstruation and get people talking. Meanwhile, an Outfront representative told MIC that the ads “seem to have a bit too much skin,” adding that the egg and grapefruit imagery, “regardless of the context, seems inappropriate.”

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Well. Female sexuality is all fun and games unless it’s actually through the female gaze, isn’t it!

Agrawal called bullshit on Outfront’s rebuke of her company’s ads, especially while underwear and plastic surgery advertisements on the subway right now display huge amounts of cleavage, huge amounts of cleavage interpreted as fruit, and women displaying huge amounts of cleavage bras and bikinis.

While Agrawal and Thinx is keeping up the fight, Outfront says they aren’t interested in the campaign as is, despite their obvious double standard.


Contact the author at Hillary@jezebel.com.

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Image via shethinx.com.