WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - Tambrands Inc. of White Plains has rolled out its latest tampon advertising campaign, a $13 million effort that plays on consumers' environmental consciousness. A television advertisement features a woman saying, ``Plastic, who needs it?'' while wrinkling her nose in obvious disgust.
At issue is the use of plastic vs. cardboard tampon applicators.
Tambrands, which says its cardboard applicators are flushable and biodegradable, is seeking to gain a larger share of the $680 million tampon market by winning over users of Playtex Products Inc.'s tampons, which have applicators made of polyethylene.
Overall, the feminine hygiene market is not a growing one, according to spokesmen for Tambrands and Playtex.
However, Tambrands spokesman Bruce Garren said the company believes many consumers will choose a biodegradable product over one that eventually goes to a landfill.
According to a Consumer Reports magazine article on the subject, however, many women will not be led to change brands based solely on environmental conscience.
The report also said most women don't flush the applicators, even when given the option of doing so.
``We find that most women do flush the applicators as a convenient method of disposing of them,'' he said.
Garren said he does not view the ad campaign as plastics bashing.
``We feel this is an unusual product category,'' he said. ``It's one that gives women a real environmental option.''