Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Summer's Eve Pulls Vagina Ads After Latinas Complain

Latinas, you were heard LOUD and CLEAR. Adweek reports that Wednesday (July 27) Summer’s Eve pulled three videos from its website and YouTube.

You may recall that last week, I blogged about the “vagina” commercials that the feminine hygiene product company had rolled out to attract Latina consumers.

Latinas from all over the country got on Facebook and Twitter, and they started slamming Summer’s Eve over the commercials. The controversial ads showed a “talking hand” that was supposed to be a vagina.

Like I said before, it was the worst marketing idea I had seen in a long time. The ad aimed at Latinas started with a voice over of a Latina with a heavy accent saying “Ay! Ay! Ay! Ay! Ay!” and then it went downhill from there. Latinas called the commercial vulgar, racist and full of stereotypes.

I thought the “vagina” commercial aimed at African American women was much worse. The “talking hand” ads were the brainchild of The Richards Group, a branding company in Dallas.

I wrote to Summer’s Eve and even posted my blog on The Richards Group Facebook page, but no one bothered to contact me about the controversy.

Adweek also reports that The Richards Group’s PR woman said “Stereotyping or being offensive was not our intention in any way, shape or form.” The PR woman also told Adweek they now plan to “focus on a greater mission.”

Well here’s my advice for both Summer’s Eve and The Richards Group. Get some people of color: Hispanics, Asian Americans and African Americans on your marketing and branding teams. Get minorities who have marketing backgrounds and most of all the guts to tell those big ad execs “This is offensive, stereotypical, and vulgar.”

I still can’t believe that not one person at The Richards Group or Summer’s Eve got up and screamed “No way in hell can we release these videos” after they were viewed. Both companies could have saved their good reputations and probably lots of money—if just one person would have said “Don’t do this.”

Oh well the commercials have be pulled. I guess that’s a start. But now that The Richards Group PR woman says they are focusing on a greater mission; I say focus that mission on adding diverse voices to your teams and PRONTO!

Rebecca Aguilar is the Founder of the social networking group, Wise Latinas Linked on Facebook and Linkedin.

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