Stephanie Fierman Is Not Offended By The Loofah! Loofah!

I am sensitive to dumb and/or insensitive imagery and statements in advertising and the media – I thought that the “How I Met Your Mother” Frosty the Snowman spoof was a little over the top, for example – but this is pushing it.scrubbing-bubble-stephanie-fierman.jpg

A new commercial for the all-natural line of cleaning products, Method, has already been pulled – and that’s a pity.

Droga5′s “SHINY SUDS” is a silly send-up of Dow’s Scrubbing Bubbles commercials.  Method created the video to support the Household Products Labeling Act, which would require full disclosure of harmful chemicals in cleaning products. Here’s the ad (if you cannot see the ad below, click HERE):



Right after the video was posted online, women began to react negatively – and harshly.  A blogger accused the company of “humiliating women” and effectively saying that – if you don’t know exactly what’s in the products you use – “you deserve to be sexually harassed” in your own home.  A reader of the same blog post called Method to tell them that she was “curious of [sic] their perpetuation of rape culture.”


Rape culture? Sexual harassment? The “pornification” of a dull House act about cleaning chemicals? What am I missing here?


Apparently a lot, as the company received hundreds of calls and emails from outraged women before declaring itself a “values-based company” and pulling the spot.


Of course, there are other interested parties who struck back, most notably (a) the advertising community (which asks when brands are going to – ahem – “grow a pair” and tell zealot ”idiots” to bug off) and (b) both men and women who say that this “overreaction” is just another example of why many believe that feminism has become a joke.


I’m not going to lean that hard in either direction… but I didn’t see the danger in this video.  What do you think?


1 Comment so far
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Stephanie,
I think we’re somewhat of the same mind on this one. I believe that both sides have over-reacted to some extent. Marketers “applauding” this effort at the AMA meeting were giving it too much credit (it’s not THAT good an idea) and the reactions from those who said it condoned rape were a bit over the edge as well. Both sides could stand for a chill pill, IMO. Here’s more on my thoughts on my blog post, “When Sex DOESN’T Sell” http://bit.ly/7CSyw6

Comment by Ted L Simon 12.13.09 @ 4:21 pm



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