Case 13: The Libresse V-Kebaya controversy in Malaysia

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This case study examines the controversy surrounding the Libresse V-Kebaya campaign in Malaysia, which featured advertisements with illustrations of flowers inspired by vulvas. The campaign was retracted after receiving backlash from the Malaysian public, which viewed it as dishonorable to women. The study explores femvertising campaigns, the societal context in Malaysia, and the implications of femvertising in a cross-cultural context. The case study provides background information on Libresse, a sanitary napkin brand that aims to encourage femininity by promoting body positivity. The lessons learned from the V-Kebaya controversy, the public backlash, and eventual withdrawal indicate the importance of understanding cultural differences and interrogating universalism inherent in many liberating values, which may often impose Western-centric ideals on non-Western markets. Cultural sensitivities, customs, and traditions should be thoroughly understood and incorporated within marketing strategies. Overall, this case study provides valuable insights into the challenges of conducting femvertising campaigns in a cross-cultural context.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMarketing Case Studies in Emerging Markets
Subtitle of host publicationContemporary Multi-industry Issues and Best-practices
EditorsDilip S. Mutum, Soo Yeong Ewe, Ezlika M. Ghazali, Racheal Louis Vincent
Place of PublicationCham Switzerland
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9783031516894
ISBN (Print)9783031516887
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Publication series

NameSpringer Business Cases
ISSN (Print)2662-5431
ISSN (Electronic)2662-544X

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