Veet Pulls Out ‘Sexist’ Ad Campaign ‘Don’t Risk Dudeness’ After Viewer Outrage
By Anne Lu | April 10, 2014 3:15 PM EST
Veet has pulled out the series of ads that were called “sexist” by disgruntled viewers. The hair removal brand’s newest campaign, “Don’t Risk Dudeness,” has outraged women around the world for implying women who have hairy legs and armpits can be mistaken for men.
The ads, released in the U.S. but uploaded for everyone to see on YouTube, have women turning into a bearded, hairy man after they forgot to shave for a day.
Many people expressed their anger over the ads on social media, calling the ads “sexist, homophobic, and transphobic” for suggesting women aren’t attractive if they have body hair.
After being bombarded with overwhelmingly negative reactions, Veet has finally given in, pulling out the ads from YouTube.
“Hi... this is the Veet marketing team in the U.S. We just wanted to let everyone know, we get it – we’re women too. The idea came from women who told us that at the first hint of stubble, they felt like ‘dudes.’ It was really simple and funny, we thought,” a message on the company’s Facebook page reads.
“To be honest, the 3 of us could really relate to these real-life moments and they made us laugh. Not everyone appreciated our sense of humour. We know that women define femininity in different ways. Veet helps those who choose to stay smooth. Our intention was never, ever, to offend anyone, so we decided to rethink our campaign and remove those clips. Thank you for letting us know how you feel.”
But Veet’s explanation didn’t seem to resonate with the women they were addressing.
“Nowhere in the above post did I see three really important words: We are sorry. Surely you’re not trying to blame this on a series of humour failing on your ex-customer’s part?” one Facebook user wrote.
“The tone of this post is very insincere. Did you actually test this campaign??? I’ll never buy Veet if this is how you think women should be portrayed in the media,” another one added.
Chimed another Facebook user, “Absolutely pathetic reaction. It’s the reasoning of anyone who has ever made a racist/sexist ‘joke’ ever, implying if you don’t ‘get it’ you obviously don’t have a sense of humour.”
The company did utter the word “apologise” in the statement it has given Jezebel, although it still justified its actions by saying the ads have been “well received by most consumers.”
“However we are very concerned by any misinterpretation of its tone or meaning, and in the light of the feedback received we have decided to withdraw it. We would also like to apologise for any offence it may have caused. That was certainly not our intention.”
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