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Libra has been running this ad down in New Zealand and Australia over the holidays, but the ad has now been branded "outrageously transphobic." In it we see a woman and an obvious transvestite applying makeup while standing side by side in a nightclub restroom. Every move the woman makes, the drag queen repeats. She applies lip gloss, and so does he but even more gloss. She applies a little mascara, so does he just extra glam. She finally pulls out a tampon from her purse which is the winning move, as the draq queen now sashays out in a extra dramatic huff. It didn't take long before people on social media branded Libra "transphobic" for the ad, and their facebook page was flooded with outrage. One shortsighted commenter who calls themselves Miserys Malice on Libra's Facebook page said;
"So, for the females who've gone through the likes of menopause or hysterectomies I suppose Libra failed to get those girls."
Newsflash, those girls will not be in the market for tampons and are this not the target of this ad. The point of the ad is to sell tampons, not appease snowflakes. Gabeh Lissette Gutierrez posted:
"I'm not sure what is more disgusting, the blatant transphobia or the inclination that a period is what defines a woman's femininity. Having an advertising campaign where some snooty-nosed woman is going to resort to whipping out her feminine hygiene product in the face of someone who doesn't have a menstrual cycle therefore rendering her a winner, maybe was in bad taste and poor form."
Oh dear, "winning" is usually the last way one would describe having ones period so could you let this one slide, please? Libra decided to recant, and pulled the ad from their Facebook page where they also posted this statement:
“We regret any offense taken to our recent Libra tampon advertisement in New Zealand. It was never intended to upset or offend anyone. Independent research was undertaken beforehand and the advertisement was viewed positively during that testing. We take all feedback very seriously, and in response to this, we will immediately review our future position with this campaign based on the feedback received. There are no further advertisements scheduled in New Zealand. The advertisement has not aired in Australia. The advertisement was placed on Libra’s Facebook page; however, this has now been removed.”
The star of the ad, Drag Queen Sandee Crack also released a statement:
“When I was presented with the Libra commercial and saw it as a great opportunity to participate in a positive step towards acceptance for drag queens & gay men among the wider community. Libra were both sensitive, professional and accepting of my needs as a drag queen & as a gay man throughout the production process. I never felt for one moment that I would be depicted as a trans woman, nor do I believe that I have been. We consciously kept my arm hair, chose strapless dresses to accentuate my broad shoulders and if you look carefully you will notice my stubble is slightly visible. They also ensured I looked much taller than the girl next to me. I was shown the ad prior to release and I was thrilled with it. I have received enormous support from both transgendered, gay & straight individuals from all over the World since the ad was released in New Zealand. I believe strongly that by putting a drag queen into the mainstream media, we are one step closer to acceptance and this is something I am very proud to be part of.”
Libra have reportedly engaged PR agency Porter Novelli to handle the backlash.
Ad agency: Clemenger BBDO Melbourne
Principal talent: Sandee Crack (Drag queen)