Do either of these words offend you?

Well. Nothing gets women talking like a bit of discharge. But will it get then buying panty shields?

This ad from Carefree breaks more barriers than a Dukes Of Hazard car chase, using the words ‘discharge’ and then following up with the v bomb. Yes, that nice young lady says ‘vagina’ ON THE TELLY.

Believe me, this would not have been a careless move by Carefree and their advertising agency. It would have been researched and tested and debated, possibly for years.

Will it work? Will women admire Carefree for their woman-to-woman cut the coyness approach? Or will it backfire?

People are certainly talking.

And they are splitting into two camps – the outraged and the, ‘about timers.’

The outraged, predictably, are worried about two things – how we can explain it to the kidlets who may or may not be ready for the, ‘Becoming A Woman’ talk and the ‘Slippery Slope Towards Debauchery,’ – if we are saying the word ‘vagina,’ surely it’s only a matter of time before we SHOW AN ACTUAL VAGINA (cue vulva police) in a feminine hygiene commercial! And then where will society be?

Actually, there is a third camp, the fellas who cannot hear the word ‘vagina’ without going a bit pale and finding something else to do – at least 3km away. They are okay with the ‘c’ word and a ‘p’ word but ‘v’ has them running. Too anatomical, too medical. Interestingly, there are plenty of women running alongside them on that.

The ‘about timers’ camp is immensely relieved that finally, finally we are moving away from the ambiguity of blue liquid. They are fed up with vague promises of, ‘confidence every day,’ and rapt that healthy discharge is now part of a healthy discourse.

What do you think? Where do you sit on vaginal discharge? What words do you find offensive?

Kate Hunter is an advertising copywriter with over 20 years experience and one Gruen Transfer appearance to her name. Kate is also the author of the Mosquito Advertising series of novels – The Parfizz Pitch, The Blade Brief and The Crunch Campaign, which see a bunch of Australian kids start their own advertising agency. You can buy them here. The stories surrounding ads are often more interesting than the ads themselves and as soon as Kate thinks she’s seen it all, she sees something more dazzling or more dire than has ever been done before.