News Clits

29 07 2011

Summer’s Eve ads try and fail to sell douching products with talking vaginas and racial stereotypes

Here on the Vlog we provide commentary on cunt-related news, covering a broad range of sex- and health-related topics. This week’s douching product will turn your vertical smile into a vertical frown.

A new ad campaign for the douching product Summer’s Eve, entitled “Hail to the V” did anything but. In the first place, I have big beef with douching products. They’re unhealthy and unnecessary, selling shame and bullshit unhygienic insecurities to women while potentially messing with the pH balance in the vagina. That means god awful itchy yeast infections in your future, not wafting scents of rose petals and lavender like a walking Glade PlugIn.

But Summer’s Eve found another way to try and stuff douching products up our ying yangs (And they don’t have the greatest track record when it comes to advertising). This time they used talking pussy hand puppets that spouted offensive racial stereotypes. Three separate ads represented an African American, Latina and Caucasian woman’s vagina cajoling her to use Summer’s Eve products, as if by doing so she’s showing her V some love. Check out some short clips of the spectacular train wrecks below, with commentary from the online news show, The Young Turks.

But the ad agency, The Richards Group, who recently defended the campaign by calling it “relatable,” pulled the ads on Wednesday in response to the enormous negative backlash. The agency gave this statement about the ads to the media news website Adweek: “We do not think they are stereotypical, nor did we obviously intend that. However, it’s a subjective point of view. There seems to be an important perception out there that they may be, and we would never want to perpetuate that.” The agency originally defended the ads, claiming that their “multicultural experts” confirmed that the videos were relatable. What I’d like to know is what kind of dubious “experts” did they consult? The ads include the type of vernacular that we hear from tired caricatures, like the black woman’s “Mhmmmmmmm” and the Latina woman’s “Ay-yi-yi.” I half expected to hear an “Arrrrrrrrrrriba!” tossed in there for good measure.

Apparently Latina vaginas don't like leopard print thongs.

The campaign has raised critiques that ad agencies lack minority voices to filter these types of racially insensitive representations, according to Daily News. Throwing around these kinds of stereotypes doesn’t empower women; it racially stigmatizes them by portraying them as sassy, one-trick-pony sound bytes. Even Stephen Colbert weighed in on the ridiculous caricatures. After watching the African American vagina ad on The Colbert Report, he stated, “Wow, that vagina really had an urban feel. It’s even more convincing than Tyler Perry’s vagina.” He even provided his own spoof ad that addresses men and their “deeply troubling genitals” by marketing a pine-scented dick scrub. I love the concept, especially the cucumber ball dip for the man-on-the-go.

Now I enjoy a talking vagina as much as the next person – hell, probably more – but I don’t enjoy seeing them portrayed as inherently unclean and in need of manufactured cleansers in order to hit the club or freshen up after the gym. Plus, if my V could talk she would probably be more inclined to ask for pole dancing lessons, or a mirror on the ceiling so she can get more face time. Funnily enough, in the ad featuring the Caucasian pussy her V exclaims that they should be B.F.F.’s, or sidekicks, while asking very passive aggressively if she can have a little attention. Jesus, get a backbone, vagina! I have to side with Moxie Bird on this one, the Caucasian cooch bores me out of my skull and makes me want to shake some assertiveness into her. However strange that statement sounds, I stand by it.

Summer’s Eve may have claimed that their campaign was empowering because they used the word “vagina” when many media outlets don’t allow it, but that clearly didn’t cut it. Portraying different races as cookie-cutter caricatures certainly got women talking, but not in a way that benefited Summer’s Eve. The company that markets V products should know that if our cunts could speak they would say, “Don’t talk down to us, douche.”

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