Gold eurobest Award

Case Film

Presentation Image

Product/ServiceTHE TAMPON BOOK
Category A01. Fast Moving Consumer Goods
Idea Creation SCHOLZ & FRIENDS Berlin, GERMANY
Media Placement THE FEMALE COMPANY Stuttgart, GERMANY
Production 2 METAGATE Berlin, GERMANY
Name Company Position
Matthias Spaetgens Scholz & Friends Berlin GmbH Chief Creative Officer
Oliver Handlos Scholz & Friends Berlin GmbH Executive Creative Director
Robert Krause Scholz & Friends Berlin GmbH Executive Creative Director
Malik Benamara Scholz & Friends Berlin GmbH Creative Director
Sebastian Stelzer Scholz & Friends Berlin GmbH Copywriter
Ilona Hartmann Scholz & Friends Berlin GmbH Copywriter
Ilona Hartmann Scholz & Friends Berlin GmbH Copywriter
Max Marohn Scholz & Friends Berlin GmbH Art Director
Daniel Klessig Scholz & Friends Berlin GmbH Cinematographer
Jan Lagowski Scholz & Friends Berlin GmbH Cinematographer
Kerstin Mende Scholz & Friends Hamburg GmbH Art Buyer
Benito Schumacher Scholz & Friends Berlin GmbH Print Producer
Sarah Dahm Scholz & Friends Berlin GmbH Account Manager
Cedric Soltani Studio Dropped Photographer
Ana Curbelo external Illustrator
Natalie Krzyz external Graphics
Alica Läuger external Illustrator

Why is this work relevant for Direct?

The Tampon Book promotes a petition that urges the German parliament to change a sexist law. The Tampon Book was sent to the country’s 100 most popular feminist influencers. The majority of them promoted our book for absolutely free. Thus, we reached our primary goal – our petition got the necessary 150,000 signatures. In addition, The Tampon Book directly motivated politicians to support the cause and introduce a bill to reduce the tampon tax into the German Bundestag.


Caviar, Truffles and even oil paintings – in Germany many luxury goods are taxed with the reduced rate of only 7% while tampons and other female sanitary products attract the top value added tax rate of 19%. The so-called tampon tax provoked international protests in recent years and has already been abolished in countries like Canada and Kenya and even some US-States. However, in Germany, tampons are still taxed as luxury goods and politicians refused to act. The Female Company, an online shop which sells organic female sanitary products wanted to take the lead in the feminist movement against the tampon tax.

Describe the creative idea (30% of vote)

We packaged tampons in a book and, thus, sold them with the lower tax rate of 7%. In other words: We outsmarted the law with the law itself. But The Tampon Book is much more than a smart packaging that hacked the German tax system. Stylishly illustrated by artist Ana Curbelo and illustrator Alica Läuger, The Tampon Book contains 45 pages with bold illustrations and empowering stories about menstruation, taboo and feminism and promotes a petition which urges the German parliament to discuss the abolition of the tampon tax.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

Nobody likes to deal with taxes, and the German tax law is so complicated that hardly anyone sees through. An unusual idea was needed to show the absurdity of taxing tampons with the highest VAT rate 19%. We decided to outwit the tax law with smart packaging – and the law itself. And we did it by using a German cultural good. The idea was simple: We sold organic tampons hidden in a book. Books are deemed important educational material and taxed with only 7% VAT. Additionally, they have always been ideal for tackling taboo topics - and for hiding things in them. Online as well as offline, we targeted three groups: High profile politicians with a record in gender politics, feminist influencers, and feminist women in Germany with interest in gender issues asking to sign our petition to reach 150,000 signatures and directly motivate politicians to support the cause.

Describe the execution (20% of vote)

The book was sold through The Female Company's online shop - at cost and with the reduced VAT of 7%. The book was launched in April 2019. We promoted it with an film on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. We sent 100 copies of The Tampon Book to influencers and journalists, half of which supported the cause and created free buzz. By sending The Tampon Book to 100 relevant politicians, we carried the topic directly into German politics and the Bundestag. 15 volunteers formed a tampon tax task force and directly lobbied politicians over the phone. In every video, Facebook post and Instagram story, we called to sign a petition urging the German Bundestag to overhaul the tampon tax.

List the results (30% of vote)

The Tampon Book was a quick success. The first edition of 1,000 copies sold out within a day, the second edition of 6,000 within a week. When Facebook declared the film too political, we received overwhelming support from followers and influencers sharing the video on other platforms. The video was viewed almost 700,000 times and The Tampon Book generated more than 80 news stories in regional and national print media, TV, radio and online media and reached 9.3 million Germans in traditional media alone. 10 members of the German Bundestag supported the cause and officially invited The Female Company. As a direct result of these meetings, a bill to reduce the tax was introduced into the German Bundestag and debated. In early October Germany’s Minister of Finance gave in and decided tampons and other female sanitary hygiene products will be taxed at the reduced rate from 1 January 2020.