Television PSA for Rely Tampons, Procter and Gamble, 1980.
Toxic Shock Syndrome (or TSS), a potentially fatal bacterial infection similar to a staph infection, was first identified in 1978. In May of 1980, the Center for Disease Control discovered a direct link between superabsorbent tampons and TSS. Rely tampons doubled the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome but they weren’t pulled from the market until September. The danger of TSS created a need for public discussion. This public service announcement was the first in a chain of media coverage that raised women’s health as a topic of national interest.