Is it possible for an ad to be too effective?
That appears to be the case with Tampax. Apparently, there is a shortage of tampons right now. This shortage has been ongoing at least since March, when Michelle Wolfe, a radio host in Bozeman, Montana, wrote about it.
For its part, Procter & Gamble, the maker of Tampax, has been blaming comedian Amy Schumer. Tampax launched a campaign with Schumer in July 2020. Since the campaign launched, “retail growth has exploded,” P&G spokeswoman Cheri McMaster told Time. Demand is up 7.7% over the past two years and P&G is running its Auburn, Maine., Tampax factory 24/7 to meet demand.
Schumer starred in a series of commercials for the brand via Publicis Groupe MSL, after Netflix ran a special in which Schumer talks about tampons and all the complexities of shopping for them. A P&G rep at the time said the goal was to get discussion going, so the brand reached out to Schumer.
The problem is not all Schumer’s fault. The ads were shot before the pandemic, but when it hit, consumers began stocking up on supplies just as the supply chain was disrupted by delays. Other tampon makers are experiencing the same disruption. Rayon, a cotton product used in tampons, is in short supply and prices have jumped since the pandemic.
In April, P&G raised prices in April 2021 and April 2022. Meanwhile, P&G posted its biggest gain in decades in its most-recent quarter.