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BBH London


Agency: BBH London

BITE Insight

Unlike helicopters, alcoholic jellies and exotic meats like crocodile and kangaroo, most people would not class sanitary ware as a luxurious, non-essential item; yet it for tax purposes it is.  

“Periods are no luxury. You can ‘opt-in’ to extravagance. You cannot choose to menstruate. Despite this, a whole heap of disadvantages have been created for those who do. Not using sanitary products can lead to health risks, jeopardise maintaining a normal, professional or personal life, and result in public ridicule.” Said Laura Coryton, leader of the ‘Stop Taxing Periods’ campaign.

Campaigners have been demanding that the government scraps VAT entirely on women’s sanitary products for years, but due to EU rules it has been unable to lower the rate below 5%.

This week, in their new campaign Tampon Tax Off,  British supermarket Tesco announced it would cover the 5% tax on behalf of it's customers. This would be applied to nearly 100 products from multiple brands across all of their stores on and offline.

There’s a real trend for brands to make their voices heard in topics such as inclusivity, diversity and equality. Here’s a brand taking action that will genuinely make a difference to those who are most in need. It also brings the topic back into the public realm. As the Tesco’s film suggests, many people haven’t heard of the ‘tampon tax’ and to ensure the law is changed to give all sanitary products a zero tax rating, we need to keep the conversation going.

About the author

Kara Melchers, Managing Editor, BITE

Kara has editorial control over BITE, Creativebrief’s daily insight into global marketing trends and the cultural movements driving them. She runs BITE INSPIRE sessions in the UK and US, for brands including Virgin Atlantic, A.G. BARR, British Gas and Pepsico. She also presents at our BITE LIVE events series and industry festivals in London and New York. Get in touch if you’re working on an interesting project

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