Dear Procter & Gamble: Your Mother-Daughter Websites About Menstruation Fail to Deliver, Period
Procter & Gamble, you can do so much better than this.
I had such high hopes for Momscorner.ca (which promises to deliver "a wealth of information to help moms broach the discussion about menstruation and answer questions in an open, honest manner") and Beinggirl.ca (a website for girls who are about to get their periods or who have just started menstruating) -- the two sites mentioned in the pitch I received from your PR company yesterday.
Unfortunately, the sites fail to deliver, period.
While Momscorner.ca features a few useful links and some helpful tips on talking to your daughter about menstruation, the site contains a lot of weak and irrelevant content (Make Friends With Her Inner Chocoholic, Create a Home Spa, Girls Rule); and the handful of articles that do address menstruation- and puberty-related topics are far too superficial to justify a stand-alone website for mothers. Also: Where are the mothers' voices? Mothers want to hear how other mothers have handled this conversation.
The one potentially appealing area of the site (Time travel, which invites mothers to share some of their middle school memories with their daughters) screams out for some multi-media and social media add-ons. Come-on, P&G: a text-only printable form simply isn't going to cut it for mothers and daughters of the Facebook and YouTube generation. Momscorner.ca has so much potential - but, as it stands right now, the site resembles a Tampax box – and the content is about as scintillating.
At first glance, BeingGirl.ca looks like it has a lot more to offer than Momscorner.ca. But, as we all know, looks can be deceiving. Sure, the site features daily polls and eye-catching photos and graphics. But it misses the mark (badly) when it comes to editorial content. Some of the articles are completely vapid (How to Talk So Boys Will Listen!), others are irrelevant (The Truth Behind the Legend of Santa Claus) or impossibly dated (Queen for a Week). I swear, this final article reads like something from a 1950s health textbook.
"Getting your period can be a real bummer—as if you didn’t already know! The bloating, the cramps, the ATTITUDE... the list goes on! Every month your [sic] bound to feel your worst. What better reason to treat yourself like the Queen you are! ... Getting your period is tough enough—treat yourself to something special!"
Surely, the site can't be a total washout, I told myself, after a half-hour of plowing through one bad article after another. I mean a free sample is a free sample, right? I clicked on the "Free Samples" link.
Want free samples? Thank you! Thank you for you [sic] interest. There is no offer available at this time. Please check back at a later date for future offers. In the meantime, be sure to visit www.beinggirl.ca for answers to all your questions and so much more!
Or so much less, in this case.
The press kit that I received by courier yesterday stated:
"Free samples of many of these products [Tampax and Always products] are available at Beinggirl.ca. The samples come in a discreet bag that's ideal for sending to camp - and is especially useful for first periods. The package includes: an Always Infinity Regular pad, an Always Ultra Thin Slender pad, three Always Thins Pantyliners, a Regular Tampax Pearl, a Lite Tampax Pearl, and a Regular Tampax Compak Pearl."
Talk about under-delivering on a promise.
And wasting both mothers' and daughters' valuable time.
NEXT TIME: In my next column, find out about two very different books that do a great job of tackling this topic: My Little Red Book and Girl in the Know.