Y’know, I don’t find this offensive. It’s clever, not least in its rather pointed metacommentary on the way that advertisements for menstrual products have relied on euphemisms since forever. This ad very pointedly avoids any salacious lingering on the secondary sexual characteristics of female anatomy as well, which is more than can be said for some other ads for menstrual products. The men gazing at the woman and her companion aren’t represented as stupid either, just bemused by the unusual sight of a beaver at the beach, which is another nice change from some other ads for menstrual products.
So, what it is about this ad which has caused so many complaints to flow into the Advertising Standards Bureau? There’s been sufficient controversy for the ad to be blogged widely overseas, for instance. Is it just that “beaver” is a direct reference to the vulva/vagina? Not euphemistic enough? Would there have been the same complaints if she’d gone through her daily routines with a team of painters in tow?