Why Tampax blames Amy Schumer for shortage of tampons

It’s probably not something you want to hear on a Thursday morning, but Procter & Gamble is blaming Amy Schumer for the national tampon shortage.

Didn’t know there was a national tampon shortage? Well, there is, among all the country’s other woes. Actually, the shortage of tampons might explain the country’s other woes.

In any case, we do know that Schumer, starting about two years ago, was featured in advertisements for Tampax, which is by far the most popular tampon brand in America, and which is owned by Procter & Gamble.

“Retail sales growth has exploded,” gushed P&G spokeswoman Cheri McMaster to Time Magazine. McMaster explained that demand for Tampax tampons is up by 7.7%—an oddly specific number—since Schumer starred in a few commercials for the company nearly two years ago. The cause-and-effect correlation here is somewhat dubious since two years is an awfully excessive time lag.

Still, the supply of Tampax tampons does seem to be bleeding away around the country, so much so that the usual rapacious Amazon resellers are making a killing. Time reports that in January, a single box of 18 Tampax tampons was “listed for $114, about $6 more—per tampon—than women usually pay.” Anecdotal evidence also indicates that homeless charities are also seeing fewer feminine hygiene products among their donations.

McMaster also claimed that the company is working around the clock, literally, to solve the problem, by instituting 24-hour shifts at their Maine factory. Procter & Gamble is also posting huge sales and is chalking this up to a 10% increase in tampon sales.

Attributing all this to Amy Schumer, however, seems to be a bit of a stretch.

As the Time article points out, other tampon brands, such as Playtex, are experiencing shortages as well—and this without a comedienne of dubious talents hawking their products. Far more likely is the usual culprit: COVID-19, which must be at least partly to blame, causing shortfalls in the materials—cotton, paper pulp, and plastic—which are used to make tampons, but have been diverted to the manufacture of masks and other medical equipment.

So, once again, blame it on the pandemic. Shortages of workers and closures of factories and manufacturing facilities haven’t helped either.

Shortages of every kind have been the name of the game in Biden’s America. Aside from the desperate lack of tampons, there’s been an even more distressing shortfall in readily available baby formula, a crisis that has led to panicked parents and even the hospitalization of some infants.

This disaster, which despite its best efforts the White House couldn’t simply dismiss, finally roused the Biden administration to take some action—importing formula from Germany and Australia like a Third World beneficiary of humanitarian aid, a humiliating reversal for what was once the country most likely to distribute such aid.

And everyone has been dealing with the gasoline shortages that have caused prices to spike to record levels. The lack of basic goods, together with increasing inflation, is becoming a signal feature of the Biden economy.

So blaming the tampon shortfall on Amy Schumer, rather than on the wrecked condition of the American economy, is just another one of the strange signs of the times.


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Todd Jaquith


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