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Always does away with the mysterious blue liquid

It looks like that little red dot you scan for when you're lost at the mall: You Are Here.

But sitting atop a sanitary napkin, the dot is monumental, historical even, say bloggers who are buzzing about an Always advertising campaign featuring the red spot, a rarity in a euphemistic market that's been flooded with a mysterious, anti-septic blue liquid - toilet bowl cleaner? - for decades.

The brainchild of Chicago ad firm Leo Burnett, Always' three-part campaign saw sanitary napkins adorned like mazes, magnets and mousetraps. In the latter, a bird cage and an anvil sit ready to trap the tidy dot. ("LeakGuard protection" is the sell.)

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Bloggers have heralded the dot as a huge step forward in acknowledging menstrual blood. Yes, Kotex had its own red dot, but it just bounced happily in an ethereal white space. Although the savvy ads have gained approval from feminists and ad geeks, the old imagery persists on Always' website, where blue liquid rains down on a pad on the main page.

"We are not aliens. We do not menstruate blue. Deal with it," a commenter hissed on Jezebel.

Spokesperson Velvet Gogol Bennett couldn't say whether red would replace blue in future spots, saying cryptically, "Always is continuously innovating and bringing new thinking in the period territory."

In another spot on the company website, a tiny bumper car scoots around on a pad, trying but failing to bash its way through impenetrable leak guards. Plenty of bloggers asked the obvious: Menstrual blood as cars - was a man involved here?

As Elissa Stein and Susan Kim write in their 2009 book Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation, "The sad fact is that menstruation - the process, the images, the word itself - is as unspeakable and undercover as it ever was."

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