Women’s Health Brand Collective Moves Against Texas’ New Abortion Law – Glossy
A collective of women’s health and wellness brands, including pregnancy care brand Oula and LGBTQ + healthcare brand Folx Health, tackle Texas restrictive new abortion laws (SB8) with a message: Our bodies, our choice.
The stunt was another way of looking at how brands haven’t shied away from going political when they disagree with legislative decisions. Apparently, this marks a new era of marketing in which there is more pressure on brands to appear as authentic.
In bold print, the collective ran a full-page ad in the Sunday New York Times that read, “Access is dignity. Access is power. Access is Freedom ”and touted a site where readers can directly donate to activist organizations and find more information on reproductive freedom.
“We’re not an activist organization, we’re just a business,” said Alexandra Fine, co-founder and CEO of female sexual wellness brand Dame Products. “But when things like this happen and then something happens again that seems even more restrictive, I feel like ‘what could we do? “”
The collective, led by Dame Products and virtual abortion care company Hey Jane, was joined by other women headed and founded, including skin care brand Fur, Parenthood Membership Company and to pregnancy Seven Starling and nine others to meet the new laws. Recently passed, new Texas law prohibits six-week abortions and encourages private citizens to apply the law, according to the Texas Tribune.
“It’s outrageous for us as a company to promote sexual pleasure… and then access to abortion to be taken away from some of our sisters in the United States,” Fine said. “It feels like a fight against our brand and what we stand for. “
Coalition companies including Hey Jane, Dame, Folx Health, Real, Loom, Fur, Oula Health, Coa, Seven Starling, Flare and Spora Health paid for the New York Times ad, according to a spokesperson. However, the coalition declined to say how much it spent on print advertising. Taking the spot in The Sunday Times, the team says they are hoping more brands and advertisers will follow suit, donate to the reproductive rights organizations listed on the resource website, and take a stand for reproductive rights. The companies did not respond to a request for details of the donation amount, but said donations from ad placement continued to arrive at the time of publication.
“Businesses should no longer be afraid of the ‘word’ – access to abortion and reproductive care is vital for the health and well-being of our communities,” said by email Kiki Freedman, co-founder and CEO of Hey Jane. “Abortion is health, and we urge other companies to support us. “
These are not the only brands to vote on the new legislation. CNN Reports GoDaddy web hosting service has taken down a site that used to post advice on possible abortions in Texas. Meanwhile, ridesharing companies Uber and Lyft have pledged to cover legal fees for drivers who drive women to their appointments and are sued because of the legislation. Dating apps Bumble and Match have announced a relief fund for those affected. And Don’t Ban Equality, a 2-year campaign coalition similar to that led by Dame and Hey Jane, has plans to place ads in the Texas newspaper, the Houston Chronicle.
“If companies publicly state through this statement that restrictions like SB8 are bad for business… we hope that can dampen the fervor of other states to push forward the related restrictions,” said Jen Stark, senior director of the corporate strategy at the Tara Health Foundation and former Don’t Campaign Manager Ban Egalité.
This is not Lady’s first rodeo with social justice. In 2019, the brand partnered with other women’s wellness brands for a similar message in response to a growing number of abortion bans across the country. According to CNN, most of the attempts were blocked by the judges. On top of that, the sexual wellness brand sued New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) after it turned down an ad campaign on Dame’s subway for what the brand calls “vague and sexist reasons.” Per Fine, the new SB8 legislation puts the collective’s efforts back to square one, but brands plan to continue as part of their branding goal.
“Every brand has a goal, or should, beyond just making money. What are you trying to do in the world? “She said.” When brands do something, it impacts the world. When brands say something, it impacts the world.
The idea of the brand goal has second look in 2020, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and renewed calls for social justice. Recently, a number of brands, such as Expedia Brands and Ax, have re-committed to campaigns to encourage people to get vaccinated. According to the last consumption report from marketing analytics and product research firm Jungle Scout, nearly 60% of shoppers say a brand’s social activism influences their conception of that brand. To prove its point of view, the Tara Foundation for Health commissioned a study this year, showing that 77% of those polled said reproductive health care, including access to contraception and abortion) is a significant issue.
“Over the past ten to fifteen years, it has become increasingly important that brands really present themselves with a set of values and beliefs. [and] let their clients know what the brand stands for, ”said Deb Gabor, Founder and CEO of Sol Marketing, a brand consulting firm.
For Gabor, it’s a change of pace for advertisers, who are known for their risk aversion. But as buyers seek to match brands with similar beliefs to theirs, advertisers will need to meet them where they are.
For example, Gabor highlighted Nike’s 2018 ad featuring Colin Kaepernick as the Black Lives Matter movement gained momentum. It was a move experts thought would alienate conservative buyers, but Gabor calls it “an absolute mic drop moment” for the fitness brand.
“Nike knew exactly what they were doing,” she said. “Yes, they alienated some people, but they were totally okay with who they alienated because they were getting closer to their ideal archetypal client.”
The rise of brands supporting social causes is no different. In fact, it is about relying on their own values and thus attracting loyal customers with similar values.