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Today The Vagina, Tomorrow The World!

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(Editor's note: These are some excerpts f rom a book by Jerry Della Femina, an ad man who worked on a campaign to sell "feminine deodorant sprays. " The book is called FROM THOSE WONDERFUL FOLKS WHO GAVE YOU PEARL HARBOR.) We're having problems with a new product called Feminique. tt's a vaginal odor spray, plain and simple, but the magazines and the networks have decided that this country is not quite ready for the word vagina. We can't even say what our product is, Feminine hygiëne is going to be a big business for agencies. The American businessman has discoveren the vagina and it's the next thing going. What happened is that the businessman ran out oí parts of the body. We had headaches for a while but we took care of them. The armpit had its moment of glory, and the toes, with their athlete's foot, they had the spotlight too. We went through wrinkles, we went through diets. Taking skin off, putting skin on. We went through the stomach with acid indigestión and we conquered hemorrhoids. So the businessman sat back and said, "What's left?" And some smart guy said, "The vagina. " We've now zeroed in on it. And this is just the beginLng. Today the vagina, tomorrow the world. I mean, there ire going to be all sorts of things for the vagina; vitamina pep pills, flavored douches Like Cupid's Quiver (raspberry, orange, jasmine, and champagne). ff we can get by with a spray, we can sell anything new. And the spray is selling. In the first few months at 1969 the manufacturer of Feminique put something like $600, 000 worth of it into the stores in test areas without one commercial ever being on the air. The maker of Feminique expects to break even if he has sales of $1, 500, 000 in the first year. But before the advertising even starts he's got $600, 000 in the tillo He's going to make it on re-orders alone. I ran into censorship again when trying to print an ad for Feminique in McCall's magazine. The publisher said, "This line about taking care of the most important part of you- you can't say that. " Isaid, "Well, look, 1 wrote the ad and I happen to think that that is the most important part oí a woman. " He got very red in the face and he looked at me and said, "Mr. Della Femina, did you ever hear of the heart? " I told him that when I went to bed with a woman I didn't particularly look for the heart. He said, "You are not going into my magazine with this ad. The story is closed. " Since then he has been f ired and the man who took his place carne up to our agency last summer asking if he could have the very same ad in his magazine.