A win for female pleasure: Dame settles with the MTA over ad campaign

A new campaign aims to “close the pleasure gap” and set the standard for other sexual wellness brands.

Sexual wellness company Dame has a new ad campaign on the New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) after settling with the public transport system on a legal complaint regarding previous ads. 

“Get in Touch with yourself,” created in-house, launched on Monday with approval from the MTA. The campaign features abstract imagery and language that illustrates female sexual pleasure as healthy. Dame created “it’s largest OOH campaign to-date” by asking consumers what pleasure looks like and feels like to them according to a press release.

The campaign marks the first female-founded sexual product brand approved to advertise on  the MTA. 

The campaign represents the fruits of a hard-won fight for Dame, which filed a legal complaint with the US District Court of the Southern District of New York in June 2019 alleging that the MTA’s rejection of previous Dame advertisements for sex toys was unconstitutional. 

In the lawsuit, Dame noted that the MTA had previously approved ads for dating services, the Museum of Sex, and men’s-focused sexual health products, specifically products related to erectile dysfunction, with suggestive imagery, but continued to reject ads that represent female pleasure.

“The MTA’s previous advertising denial stifled our ability to articulate the value we bring to innovate and develop products for female sexual pleasure and enforces sexual shame for vulva-havers as a societal norm,” said Alexandra Fine, CEO of Dame in an email. “The settlement is the very start of changing the game for the sexual wellness and pleasure category, female sexuality, and its depiction in advertising, media and beyond.”

While Dame will need to continue seeking MTA approval to run and resubmit ads, Fine noted that the brand’s ultimate goal is to “advance Dame’s work in closing the pleasure gap and set a standard for other sexually-oriented companies in advertising.” 

The campaign will run through November. 

Dame also announced appointees of a new Clinical Advisory Board, which will weigh in on product development, hardware designs, workshops and content for the brand. Board members include Amy Novatt, MD, Aimée Gould Shunney, ND, and Holly Richmond, PhD, LMFT. 

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