Periods are not a luxury. Period.

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J Walter Thompson New York engaged The Sweet Shop and Auckland-based director Melanie Bridge to shoot a tongue-in-cheek TV campaign, featuring talk show host/model Amber Rose (SlutWalk) for US activist charity Period Equity.

“We’re really proud to be behind this,” The Sweet Shop’s Melbourne-based global comms director Kate Neill told M+AD.

“Did you know that 36 US states collect tax on tampons and pads? You can buy all sorts of items without tax in the US, including garter belts in Vermont and BBQ sunflower seeds in Indiana – but in most states, women are taxed for menstrual products.

“It’s not much better around the globe. This campaign aims to fight back against the tampon tax.” [In NZ, tampons are taxed at the standard 15% gst – and this is currently under challenge from a petition run by two students].

“We were thrilled to collaborate on this project with JWT and Amber Rose,” said Period Equity co-founder Jennifer Weiss-Wolf of NYC (author of a new book, Periods Gone Public: Taking a Stand for Menstrual Equity).

“This campaign, coupled with Amber’s unflinchingly strong voice, is a smart approach to menstrual equity.”

“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,” Weiss-Wolf said.

“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.”

Melanie Bridge 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.”

The campaign also features digital and social components.

  • SlutWalk is a transnational movement of protest marches calling for an end to rape culture, including victim blaming and slut shaming of sexual assault victims.


Client: Period Equity
Founder: Jennifer Weiss-Wolf
Founder: Laura Strausfeld
Agency: J Walter Thompson New York
Executive Creative Director: Sarah Barclay
Creative Director: Yana Hunt
Copywriters: Danielle White & Christopher Phillips
Head of Production: Anthony Nelson
Agency Producer: Gillian Blain
Global President: Claire Capeci
Account Manager: Adaire Carey
Global Planning Director: Marina Pen
Project Manager: Drazen Kupres
Production Company: The Sweet Shop
Director: Melanie Bridge
Executive Producer: Laura Thoel
Bidding Producer: Carolyn Pedrossian
Line Producer: Michelle Stark
Director of Photography: Danny Ruhlmann
Production Designer: Erin Dallesandro
Still Photographer: Howard Wise
Editorial: Beast
Editor: Lindsey Nadolski
Post Producer: Jennifer Gotharb

About Period Equity
Period Equity leads the fight in the US for accessible, affordable and safe menstrual products—vital to ensuring full and fair participation in society. As a national non-profit organisation, we leverage the traditional tools of policy and legal advocacy, thought leadership and top-flight media strategy, to shift the discourse around menstruation, conceptualise and pass new laws and achieve systemic change.

Period Equity spearheaded the US campaign to eliminate the “tampon tax” through the petition, Stop Taxing Our Periods! Period., cosponsored by Cosmopolitan magazine. Our work has been published and featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, NPR, Cosmopolitan, Teen Vogue, Ms., Refinery29 and Upworthy, among many others.

About J Walter Thompson New York
J. Walter Thompson New York is the headquarters of J Walter Thompson Worldwide. We are a culturally-connected agency and we believe that the advertising industry has a big role to play in building culture. We are proud to service some of the world’s most iconic global and local brands like Energizer, Johnson & Johnson, Kimberly-Clark, Wild Turkey, Nestlé, Puma, T. Rowe Price and Schick.

About The Sweet Shop
We call ourselves a global boutique production company, because that’s just what we are. With fully serviced offices in all corners of the globe and a localised, friendly approach, you’ll feel we’re everywhere at once, bringing you work with soul. Our teams are experienced and agile, professional, but fun and informal. We’re passionate from start to finish. We work hard and push the boundaries to pull off the best possible production. And with a brilliant, well-curated pool of talent, with us the journey only gets sweeter.

Our directors are true artisans of film craft. Whether it’s TV commercials, feature films, music videos or digital content, they’re fiercely proud of the stuff they make and how they make it. They’re humanity-obsessed. Their work gives you that fierce little lump in your throat. It’s unapologetically funny. It makes you gasp with surprise. It makes you feel you’re part of something bigger, no matter where you’re from.

Our Ethical Approach: We’re decent humans and we care. We work ethically to support communities locally and internationally. And we really mean it. From the way we operate our business and production, to the causes we align ourselves with. We’ll leave no bitter after-taste.

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