Serena to headline Tampax ads

CINCINNATI -- The Procter & Gamble Co. is featuring tennis star Serena Williams in a lighthearted ad campaign for its Tampax brand that begins just weeks after her U.S. Open outburst.

The Cincinnati-based consumer-products maker announced Monday that Williams will take on Tampax's "Mother Nature" character in new print advertising in October magazines. P&G officials say Williams represents the energy, independence and strength of women they want to celebrate.

The new campaign was in the works before Williams' tirade this month against a lineswoman at the U.S. Open, which brought a $10,000 fine for unsportsmanlike conduct.

"Clearly she admitted she made a mistake; she apologized," P&G spokesman David Bernens said. "We support her apology."

Williams has highlighted a number of other campaigns, including for Nike and Gatorade.

P&G has recently taken a light approach to advertising its tampon products, with the current theme called "Outsmart Mother Nature."