One Company's Savvy Response to a Facebook Rant
Americans remain true to our Puritan roots when it comes to discussing bodily functions. Utter the offensive phrase "feminine napkin" or "the new Mini iPad" during a football game and it's like yelling "fire" in a theater. Men run for their lives. Women cower in disgrace.
In other parts of the world, they are a tad cheekier about selling products to help women during "that time of the month." And men are more frank in discussing the issue.
Which brings me to Bodyform, the U.K. feminine products company owned by Swedish conglomerate SCA . In what Mashable calls potentially "the best response ever to a Facebook rant — period, " a man purportedly named Richard Neill went off in a humorous tirade on Facebook, accusing Bodyform of lying.
"As a child I watched your advertisements with interest as to how at this wonderful time of the month that the female gets to enjoy so many things ... bike riding, rollercoasters, dancing, parachuting, " Neill ranted, even referring to the mysterious "blue water" used to show absorbency.
Alas, Richard grew up and got a girlfriend, only to discover, "You lied! There was no joy, no extreme sports ... as my lady changed from loving, gentle, normal skin coloured lady to the little girl from the exorcist."
Whoa, Richard, calm down.
The post landed on Bodyform's Facebook page and was an instant hit, with nearly 84, 000 "likes" as of this writing.
Well ... enter a savvy corporate reply with a twist of British wit.
In a YouTube "response, " Bodyform "CEO" Caroline Williams pours herself a glass of the infamous blue water and responds, "We lied to you, Richard. And I want to say sorry."
Williams goes on to admit that all the visuals of women sky diving and horseback riding are merely metaphors. "I'm sorry to be the one to tell you this, but there's no such thing as a happy period."
Well, it's about freaking time. After millions of years, we finally have the truth.
Bodyform doesn't stop there, however. Williams confesses that back in the '90s, the company attempted truthful advertising, but the ads were a failure in focus groups as men reacted with horror, disbelief, and tears.
Who is this totally cool CEO? She's an actress.
"Unfortunately, Bodyform doesn't have a CEO, " the company said. "But if it did she'd be called Caroline Williams."
A visit to Bodyform's homepage illustrates the difference between it and American giants like Proctor & Gamble 's Tampax. The homepage for Tampax shows a young woman in a white bikini playing "Limbo". Bodyform's website includes a menu bar where the first section is called "My Period." Click on it and there's a subsection called "Period myths" such as, "Don't wash your hair when you have your period." Oh dear, more truth.
My hope is that other companies will follow Bodyform's groundbreaking strategy of honesty. No more lies! Is there really meat in my taco? Is State Farm really like a good neighbor? Is a diamond really forever? Are you really "Lovin' It" at McDonald's ? Does Kim K. really love Kanye?
Help me, Caroline Williams.
—By CNBC's Jane Wells
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