April 15th, 2011
A Younger Group for Feminine Products
The New York Times
“Some girls get their period as young as 8,” begins a section for mothers on a Web site by Kotex, the feminine products brand. “Have you had the talk?”
The site, Kotex.com/tween, urges mothers to pick a date soon to explain menstruation, and clicking on “get the right products” takes mothers to a page promoting the brand’s newest offering: U by Kotex Tween.
In what the brand says is an industry first, the pads are designed specifically for 8- to 12-year-olds and are 18 percent shorter and narrower than other Kotex pads. Sold in glittery boxes decorated with hearts, stars and swirls (which are also printed on the pads themselves), the products would look at home on the set of “Hannah Montana,” the Disney Channel show that starred the actress Miley Cyrus.
“These pads are designed to fit smaller girls’ body size, with bold and glittery packages” that also appeal to them, said Melissa Sexton, a marketing director in the adult feminine care division at Kimberly-Clark, which owns the brand.
On the site, Dr. Lissa Rankin, a gynecologist and author of “What’s Up Down There?: Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist if She Was Your Best Friend,” is featured in a video encouraging mothers.
“A lot of moms have a hard time even talking to their own peers about this issue and have to get over their own embarrassment so they can have a candid, fun and supportive conversation with their daughters,” Dr. Rankin said in a phone interview.
On another area of the site, intended for prospective users, UbyKotex.com/HelloPeriod, visitors share videos and written accounts of their first periods. One out of three females has no idea what is happening when her first period arrives, while four out of five mothers feel ill-prepared to educate their daughters about menstruation, according to surveys commissioned by Kotex.
The sites for both mothers and their daughters are by Organic, part of the Omnicom Group.