Why are you putting your HRT ad “down there”? * CoveyClub Reinvention for Women

Reading: Why are you putting your HRT ad “down there”?


Why are you putting your HRT ad “down there”?

Don't use my hip as your billboard

Francine Gingras

I remember the early days of transdermal patches; that’s when I was working as a nurse in a hospital in the late 1970’s. It was ground-breaking technology that-time released medication into your bloodstream so you had a consistent dosage level. Modern medicine had finally created a miracle that delivered just the right amount of drug to get the maximum benefit. The only challenge: the difficulty of keeping the patches in place. Medical grade carpet tape was all we could find to do the trick.

Today, transdermal patches (like Nicoderm) are the go-to delivery system for myriad drugs. Like a Band-Aid, you simply peel off the plastic backing and stick them wherever you want. All you need is a clean dry patch of skin, the right amount of pressure, and you’re good for a week. Many women use patches for hormone replacement therapy (HRT) because they deliver estrogen in minute, but consistent quantities. I love what my estrogen patches do for my body and my mind–especially as they offer up the gift of a good night’s sleep!

Unfortunately, some manufacturers have gone a step too far and decided that no opportunity is too minor for branding. The makers of Menostar, have decided that doing business near my business (the patch gets positioned below your navel and just above your pelvic bone) is smart business! Look, I get the concept of an entire city bus wrapped with an ad touting a new flavor of Absolut vodka. I’m even down with stamping your logo on a pill for safety reasons. But you swallow pills; unless you tell friends about the medicines you take, or they happen to snoop inside your powder room medicine chest, that information remains private.

When I gave my body to HRT, I did not give it over to building a company’s brand equity! My hip bone is not a billboard; it won’t drive an increase in their sales when, say, my friend Sally spots my Menostar patch on my pelvis in the ladies changing room at the gym and asks “What’s that?”

Frankly, I’d rather she not know.

And if they think they’re going to gain clients by advertising to my sexual partner, get a grip. Since I’m heterosexual, they’re unlikely candidates for an estrogen purchase. What’s worse: why would I remind my guy that I’m not twenty-two anymore? C’mon Menostar: were there any women in the room when you green-lighted this branding concept? I doubt it.

And let’s remember. When a man pops a Viagra, it’s his secret. A little transparent patch that delivers a perfect dose of ahhhhh, should be mine.

Francine Gingras is an entrepreneur and the President of Beauty Boost Inc. 



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  1. Jaana Rehnstrom

    Hi Francine,
    as a retired gynecologist, I have to tell you there is a reason, or actually two, that they recommend putting the patch in that very location. 1 – absorption from the skin varies from site to site, and the most consistent absorption into the bloodstream was found from the area of the lower abdomen. Some women do put it on their buttocks, their arms, or between the shoulder blades (only the breast is not recommended). 2 – No matter where it is, if you take all of your clothes off in the gym, someone is bound to see it! They figured putting it under the area which for most people is covered by their underwear, would make it the least noticeable.
    Of course you could take estrogen in pill form as well, but the health risks are higher: more of a peak in the bloodstream after you take it, and the risk of blood clots , which has not been found with the transdermal methods. That’s an important difference, so since there are sacrifices to be made for everything in life, maybe a small patch in that area is not so bad ?

    • lesley

      Hey Jaana: so glad to see you here. We hope the piece made clear she was protesting the advertising on the strip, not the strip itself. It had a giant logo for the company!

  2. Amy Teague

    I would imagine they brand the patch for the same safety reasons that a pill is branded. Check the FDA, all meds are individually labeled in some way. I wear them and I don’t mind.

    • lesley

      Thank you for the comment Amy. We don’t think it is a requirement. The patch someone we know wears is blank.

  3. Caitlin

    This is the exact letter I wanted to write! My pharmacist stopped giving me the one without the logo last month and now I feel as angry as the author. If they need to distinguish among different brands, then change the shape of the patch, but please make them clear again!

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