Why German Feminists hide tampons in a book

Why German Feminists hide tampons in a book

Startup outsmarts Germany’s sexist tax system.

The young startup „The Female Company“ takes a stand against the unfair taxation of female sanitary products – by selling tampons hidden in a book. Thus, avoiding the controversial taxation of tampons as „luxury items“ – a discrimination of women, which is also happening in many US states. The Tampon Book, developed by the Agency Scholz & Friends, is now available on their Website.

Periods are no luxury! Why tax them as if they were?

Flowers, 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. This so called tampon tax provoked international protests in recent years and has already been abolished in countries like Canada andKenya and even some US-States like New YorkandMinnesota. However, in 2018 California rejected a proposal to eliminate the tampon tax. Just like in Germany, manyUS states still tax tampons like luxury goods. But now feminists have found a smart way around this sexist taxation.

Don’t judge this book by it’s cover.

Books are taxed atthe reduced rate of just seven percent. Therefore, The Female Company now sells organic tampons hidden insidea book, thus avoiding the sexist tampon tax. With this legal stunt, the company wants to create awareness for structural discrimination against women. The idea for the “Tampon Book” came from Scholz & Friends Berlin. The agency accompanied the entire production of the book.

But the book is more than a smart way to save women and girls some money. The feminine hygiene brand supports a petition for the German parliament to abolish the tampon tax once and for all.

Tampons are not the only surprise in this book.

The Tampon Book is a fun read. The 45 chapters offer surprising and often humorous stories around menstruation from biblical times until today. The aim of the authors is to show, how interesting and culturally relevant menstruation actually is. Atopic that is still not spoken about openly. Every page has been illustrated by artist Ana Curbelo with a bold and uncompromising style.

The Female Company: Products by women for women. 

The Female Company makes sanitary products made from organic cotton available as a mail order subscription. The organic cotton is cultivated without any chemicals or pesticides and complies with high social standards. For each subscription, a woman in a refugee hostel will be provided with the equal amount of sanitary products. With ‘The Tampon Book’ The Female Company wants to set an example for the whole industry: „We promise that we will lower the prices of our products without any deductions as soon as a reduction of the tax on tampons is in place. And we sincerely hope that many brands will follow our lead.”



MD: Ann-Sophie Claus


MD Creation: Matthias Spaetgens, Oliver Handlos
Art Direction:Max Marohn
Text: Sebastian Stelzer, Ilona Hartmann
Account Management: Sarah Dahm
Strategy: Max Marohn, Sebastian Stelzer, Sarah Dahm
Production: Benito Schumacher
Art Buying: Kerstin Mende
Camera, Cut: Daniel Klessig, Jan Lagowski

Music: Massive Music
Graphic: Natalie Krzyz
Photography: Cedric Soltani @ Studio Dropped
Illustration: Ana Curbelo

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