Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Proctor & Gamble's Offensive Ad Campaign For "Secret"

Ouch, check it out!!

Secret anti-perspirant (a crappy product in the first place) has a new ad campaign that I just saw in "Lucky" magazine.

Let me share the misogynist magic with you:

The copy reads,
"Strong enough to share your SECRET?"
Then, under a photo of a smiling, young, pretty African American woman with a big 'fro:
"MY SECRET - I think your boyfriend's an idiot" -- Christa, friend
Next to that photo, another pretty young African-American woman, smirking:
"MY SECRET - We're engaged" -- Misa, friend

The next page shows three gorgeous Indian women, all smiling or laughing. From left to right, the copy reads,

"MY SECRET - I'm moving in with my boyfriend next week." - Nisha, daughter
"MY SECRET - I have a favorite child." - Mira, mother
"MY SECRET - Your cat didn't run away. I let it out." - Aruna, daughter

Are you getting sick yet? The side of each page, by the way, reads "CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF STRONG WOMEN"

But the fun's not over yet.
A third page features a pretty blonde girl wearing a diaphanous white top and a heart locket. "MY SECRET - When we were kids, I took your pink sweater, dyed it red and gave it back to you as a gift." - Emma, sister
Next to her is a laughing brunette, also wearing diaphanous white garments. Her text reads, "MY SECRET - When I was seven, I broke your necklac and let our other sister take the blame." -- Frida, sister

Isn't that a delight?
So according to this ad campaign, women's deepest secrets are that they're duplicitous, betraying bitches who don't tell their friends the truth, that they love one child better than the other, and that they habitually destroy one another's property and let someone else take the blame.

Wow, that's a really moving tribute to fifty years of STRONG WOMEN, Proctor & Gamble. I wonder what 100 years of STRONG WOMEN would look like. Matricide and grand theft, maybe? As a STRONG WOMAN myself, I can't wait to see.

Meanwhile, I won't be letting your lame product anywhere near my pits.

Write your letter of complaint to


Blogger fausto said...

Would it be better if they changed it to "Protecting 50 years of strong-smelling women"?

Blogger Cathy said...

groan... thanks for heads up

Blogger Chalicechick said...

Shrug. Secrets are like that.

None of mine are a particular tribute to the nobility of womanhood either.


Blogger PeaceBang said...

I think women's secrets are more like, "I was raped by my uncle when I was 15" or "I'm sick and tired of trying to lose weight" or "I wish I could drown my kids today, because they're driving me nuts" or "I'm tired of competing with inferior men at my job" or "I'd rather go on vacation with my girlfriends than my husband" or "I'm just as competitive as all my male friends" or "I have an incredible libido that I'm afraid to reveal for fear of being called a slut" or "I think heels are stupid and painful but I wear them anyway" or "I'd like to know judo so I could kick the guys who harass me in the street in the teeth and get away with it" or "I had two abortions when I was in my 20's and I don't regret it at all" or "Every time my pastor says 'God the Father' in church, I whisper 'Mother' to myself, and it makes me happy."

THOSE are some of real women's real secrets, as you and I know. The people at P&G didn't even get close to portraying women as complex, empowered, intelligent beings. I find it sickening.

I think an ad campaign that claims to celebrate strong women then reveals them to be, without exception, betraying liars, is despicable and outrageous. Dang, I'm STILL ticked off!

Blogger Chalicechick said...

"I wish I could drown my kids today, because they're driving me nuts," for example, isn't so far from preferring the one kid who isn't.

But more to the point, I think the difference in our two positions in this one comes down to what constitutes a secret.

I think I come down differently in that selfishness is something I'm really embarassed about and when I've been selfish I don't like to talk about it.

That I take God language in my own way, I vacation without my husband sometimes and I can't stay on a diet, for example, are all very true. But I'm not particularly embarassed to admit them, so I don't see them as secrets.


Blogger LaReinaCobre said...

Shallow advertising is something of a redundant phrase.

I use Secret sometimes, but only because they give "25% more free!" I can switch.

Blogger Gine said...

I'm wondering: what's the difference between "I wish I could drown my kids today, because they're driving me nuts" and "I have a favorite child"?

And you might like this blog:


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