J&J upset with ASB over 'vagina' ad disclosure

By By Alexandra Roach | 31 July 2012

The Carefree 'Vagina' ad was cleared by the ad watchdog but manufacturer Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has demanded part of its response to the complaints board be removed from public record.

J&J Pacific has asked the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) to remove "commercially sensitive" information from J&J's response to the ASB about a Carefree panty liner ad which features the word 'vagina'.

In its response, J&J said the campaign has been highly successful and stated 14,000 free samples had been requested in the week since the ad's 15 July launch.

J&J deemed the information commercially sensitive and demanded the statistic be removed from the ASB's publicly-available documentation. The FMCG giant also requested the same of other publishers which had disclosed the information.

"All advertisers are told all information we are provided with in response to complaints will  be published," an ASB spokesperson told AdNews. "Johnson & Johnson provided us with that information as part of their response.

“We agreed to cut out that piece of information in the spirit of cooperation with advertisers. It makes no difference to the decision or outcome for that particular piece of information to be removed.”

The ASB received more than 100 complaints about the ad but ruled the word 'vagina' had been used "appropriately" and in an inoffensive manner.

The ad continues to air unaltered.

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