P&G Links Serena Williams' Tirade to Tampax in Campaign From Leo Burnett

Last Updated Sep 29, 2009 9:49 AM EDT

It's politically incorrect to accuse women of being psychotic during their periods -- unless you're Procter & Gamble and you have an endorsement deal for Tampax with Serena Williams. P&G's new campaign for the tampon (from Leo Burnett) shows Williams firing a tennis ball at "Mother Nature," who is trying to give Williams a red-boxed "gift" (click to enlarge).

The image is reminiscent of Williams' recent tantrum at the U.S. Open, where she disagreed with a line call and yelled at an official:

I swear to God, I'll fucking take this ball and shove it down your fucking throat.
You've got to admire P&G's moxie. They took that lemon and decided to make lemonade. A commercial shows Williams v. Mother Nature in the runup to a match, in which Mother Nature is asked if there's any "bad blood" between them. She replies:
Well there is plenty of blood but none of it's bad.
Companies usually drop endorsers who sully their own reputations (the YouTube video of Williams' on-court tirade has been viewed more than 1 million times). But P&G is rolling with it:
"We didn't ever consider dropping Serena," said Courtney Schuster, a Tampax brand manager. "She accepted responsibility and apologized for what happened, and we think that demonstrates the strength of her character."