Hey kids, it's time for another exciting installment of Mail Call, where your friendly Editorial Assistant (that's me!) gives you glimpse into the totally bizarre promotional materials that make their way to the SF Weekly offices and onto my desk.
This particular piece of swag was sent to our Managing Editor, Will Harper, but I intercepted the package because the vague exterior labeling (“Women's health information”) really called out to me. The package was from Berkeley-based Mayar Laboratories, and inside, nestled cozily among a nest of Styrofoam packing peanuts, was a Today Sponge, the female contraceptive previously discontinued in the U.S., that's now making its way back to drugstore shelves. Surely I could ring a blog post out of the Sponge?
The best part about promotional materials is the ad copy, and this example was no exception. “Dear Will,” read the insert, “We are pleased to announce that we have re-launched the Today Sponge in the United States…Enclosed, please find a 3-pack showing our exciting new packaging along with information regarding the Today Sponge.” Exciting new packaging? I'm not sure how the sponge was formerly packaged, but these are sealed in plastic (they sort of look like individually wrapped wedges of fresh mozzarella cheese) and housed in a sea foam green box. Suffice to say, I was underwhelmed. For truly exciting contraceptive packaging, we refer you to the Japanese.