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Non-profit Organisation Règles Élémentaires' Invisible Women Highlight Period Poverty

Advertising Agency
Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
Nine French TV Channels took part in unprecedented campaign from House of Communication France to remove women weather presenters from the screens and open up discussion around the problem faced by 1.7 million French women who can’t afford to buy feminine hygiene products  

In France today, 1.7 million women do not have the financial means to buy intimate hygiene products – or not in sufficient quantity. Consequently, it’s difficult for some of them to continue with normal day to day life with dignity when menstruating. For some, the solution lies in absence, with these women preferring not to show up at their place of study or work during their period. 

In a bid to highlight the problem of period poverty in France, House of Communication France teamed up with Règles Élémentaires, a non-profit organisation helping women with financial constraints preventing them from accessing feminine hygiene products, to create ‘Invisible Women’, an unprecedented TV campaign involving removing women weather presenters from the screens temporarily.  

For the campaign, Règles Élémentaires and House of Communication France partnered with nine TV channels, including three major national channels. They hijacked one of the most popular TV programmes: the weather forecast. When it came to presenting the weather, the women  did not show up, on the pretext that they were having their period. In a matter of seconds, there were thousands of surprised reactions on social networks, up to the moment when the operation was revealed at the end of the weather.

By surfing on a concern that was growing in the public opinion, and by choosing the king of media - television - to be seen and heard by the greatest audience, the campaign succeeded in highlighting the problem faced by 1.7 million women in France experiencing period  poverty, opening up a public debate and making it a national priority. 

In solidarity with 1.7 million invisible French women suffering from period poverty, the most visible women in France, the weather presenters of nine TV channels, including three major national channels, did not show up on air when they were supposed to be presenting the weather  forecast. Like these women who every month can't go to work or school because they can't afford to buy periodic protections, they agreed to disappear of the screen. 

The aim of the campaign was to raise awareness of the problem and raise donations, but it  achieved a lot more: the French Minister for gender equality, Marlène Schiappa announced the experimentation of free distribution of hygienic protections. The founder of the Association Règles Élémentaires declared that this campaign contributed to change the laws and to ensure that all women today and, in the future, live their period with dignity. 

What a surprise it was for millions of viewers to discover instead of their weather forecast, the following message: “Our weather presenter will not be presenting the weather, because she has her period. We apologise for the inconvenience”. 

At the end of the weather report, the message from the Association Règles Élémentaires, who fights against menstrual precariousness revealed: "This initiative is carried out in solidarity with the 1.7 million of women suffering from period poverty. Because they don’t have the financial means to buy intimate hygiene products, most of them cannot go to school or work during their period".  

Agency / Creative
Work from Serviceplan Group France
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