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The Tampon Book: a book against tax discrimination

Industry: Retail & Distribution
Media:Design & Branding
Style: Minimalism

Caviar, Truffles and even oil paintings – in Germany many luxury goods are taxed with the reduced rate of only 7 percent while tampons and other female sanitary products attract the top value added tax rate of 19 percent. The so-called tampon tax provoked international protests in recent years and has already been abolished in countries like Canada and Kenya and even some US-States. However, in Germany, tampons are still taxed as luxury goods and politicians refused to act. The Female Company, an online shop which sells organic female sanitary products wanted to take the lead in the feminist movement against the tampon tax.

Describe the creative idea (40% of vote)

We packaged tampons in a book and, thus, sold them with the lower tax rate of seven percent. In other words: We outsmarted the law with the law itself. But The Tampon Book is much more than a smart packaging that hacked the German tax system. The Tampon Book contains 45 pages with bold illustrations and empowering stories about menstruation, taboo and feminism and promotes a petition which urges the German parliament to discuss the abolition of the tampon tax.

Describe the execution (40% of vote)

This packaging was supposed to make the product cheaper – not more expensive. So we reduced it to the max, but at the same time adhered to highest sustainability standards – just like the 15 organic tampons it contains. The Tampon Book is printed on recycling paper and has 45 pages, which is the minimum number of pages to qualify as a book according to German law. It is printed in black and white with red highlights on selected pages. It was illustrated by Ana Cuberlo in a bold and uncompromising style, depicting women, men and non-binary characters with real body types.

List the results (20% of vote)

The first edition of The Tampon Book sold out in a day, the second edition in a week. We sent the book to 100 politicians and 100 influencers, many of whom shared our story on social media for absolutely free. Our trailer film on Youtube, Facebook and, most importantly, Instagram was viewed more than 10.5 million times – with a media budget of absolutely zero. Mainstream media, like Germany’s two largest TV Networks RTL and Pro7/Sat1 picked up the story, national newspapers like Berliner Zeitung and virtually every feminist blog in the German language reported on The Tampon Book. Within two weeks, the media pressure forced politicians from several oppositional parties to react and invite the founders of The Female Company to join forces. Our petition got the necessary 150,000 signatures to urge the German parliament to discuss the abolition of the tampon tax.
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Grand Prix PR
Other FMCG
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Silver Design
Other FMCG & Consumer Durables
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Silver PR
Challenger Brand
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Bronze Direct
Other FMCG
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Bronze Media
Other FMCG
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