Tampon Technology in Britain: Unilever’s Project Hyacinth and 7-Day War Campaign, 1968–80

Camilla Mork Rostvik* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

How much do we know about the historic relationship between the corporations that develop menstrual technologies and those who buy them? This article adds to the literature on users of gendered technology and feminist approaches by examining consumers’ role in Unilever’s new “superabsorbent” tampon in 1970s Britain. Investigating the creation of the absorbent material Lyogel, Unilever’s menstrual data collection, and the accompanying “7-Day War” marketing campaign, I demonstrate the link between technology, corporation, and consumer. Anonymous consumers gave Unilever information about their menstrual habits. This market research is repurposed to examine the lived experience of menstruation and consumers’ knowledge of menstrual technologies in times when talking about this topic was taboo.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-86
Number of pages27
JournalTechnology and Culture
Volume63
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • tampons
  • critical menstrual studies
  • Feminist Science and Technology Studies
  • Unilever
  • Feminist Business History

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