In Melbourne’s, the Age, newspaper, today, the article: Sexism Dovetails with Hypocrisy, by Nina Funnell and Dannielle Miller, attempts to shed light on more than just Unilever’s moronic sexist advertising:
“Remember that Dove campaign featuring women of all different shapes, colours and sizes standing around in their knickers supposedly taking on beauty stereotypes? Well, Dove is owned by Unilever. Yep. The same company that is funding self-esteem workshops and body-love courses for girls in our schools (under the Dove brand) is also producing the very types of ads that those courses caution against.”
The claim on their website: Dove, is raising awareness of the link between beauty and body-related self-esteem (Must they have the comma after ‘Dove’? Because it was there when I cut and pasted it from their website. And if I can’t win an argument with a multi-national corporation like Unilever, then I’ll pick on their punctuation instead!) and that statement sits in rank contrast with their latest offering. Because now, Unilever (also the parent company of Lynx deodorants), have the Dirty Balls advertisement, which, based on the long-held advertising premise that you can sell anything to a man if you can link it to sex or sport, is promoting Lynx, which itself, promises that one squirt of it will bring amazing success in both areas. So, not only is Unilever going about their advertising in their own special oxymoronic fashion but their values are also strangely unaligned in their approach to marketing other products. Like this:
“And the hypocrisy doesn’t end there. Dove reminds girls to accept their bodies and to love the skin they’re born in. But Unilever sells a skin-bleaching product in places such as India and the Middle East called ”Fair and Lovely”. This product is aimed at darker-skinned women, with the promise that it will whiten their skin so that they too might one day resemble the Aryan ideal so celebrated in all Lynx advertisements.”
Look, if people want to change the colour of their skin, fine (Hello… Michael Jackson?) but why is a multimillion dollar capitalist company allowed to promote such aspirations? Like the colour of the skin a person is born with is not good enough? We have to manipulate and taunt them with advertising to aspire to change such a perfect detail with Fair and Lovely?
You can read more of that here.
It is more than a tad oxymoronic because now they have the Lynx Clean your balls advertising campaign with Sophie Monk, it shows just how dishonest they are. There is a new slogan going around: Talk to your daughter before a disingenuous company such as Unilever does and it hits the nail on their own knob head because it’s true!
”Balls. Nobody wants to play with them when they’re dirty,” says Ms Monk.
Well some women might say, “No one wants to play with them when they smell of *fragrance chemicals!” And furthermore, some mums might say, “Son, your not washing your, err… b… body in neurotoxic solvents, toxic metals and potential carcinogens… ”
On the subject of *fragrance chemicals, Unilever also manufacture washing powders that contain ‘suspect ingredients’, which cause, contribute to, and bring on symptoms experienced by asthmatics, and people with fragrance, solvent and/or petrochemical allergies and sensitivities, including children. And that is another contradiction they play against consumers, the low-allergy-sensitivity/asthmatic-friendly ruse. Their Omo Sensitive range states:
“Omo Sensitive is dermatologically tested and free of potential irritants like dyes and perfumes, which can trigger sensitive, allergy prone skin.”
Yet, all the other washing powders they market contain these ‘irritants’ and for the person allergic/sensitive to them, they are found everywhere where people who wash their clothes are found. And, they neglect to mention (and this is on purpose, I’m sure) that those affected with asthma and inhalant allergies, suffer health affects when breathing around these products. And they make out like it’s only *skin* on the outside of the body that suffers irritation and inflammation on contact with these products, not the lining (skin) of the airways of these immune compromised individuals. But it’s no biggie, if people do develop a rash, or skin irritation (you know the-red-itchy-scaly-rash-that-people-will-try-twenty-products-just-trying-to-clear-it-and-only-make-it-worse-leaving-their-skin-scared-for-life type of rash/skin irritation) then Unilever offers this helpful Living with sensitivities doesn’t have to be stressful if you know how to control it fact sheet.
If people knew they could end up sensitised to the chemicals in these products, or cause/worsen their children’s asthma, or make make an immune disorder worse then they could just bypass all the *chemicals, dyes and perfumes and go straight on to using the OMO sensitive in the first instance. That way they wouldn’t have to throw out all their clothing after they find that the regular Omo won’t wash out and the chemicals left behind–even trace amounts–still cause symptoms. Even better by using the sensitive version they could avoid symptoms in the first place!
So, Unilever can make products that make people ill, and get away with it, and they can make adds with sexist language that our kids would get in trouble for using at school. What’s next?
Reist also said she was aware it was designed to provoke outrage. As pointed out on Melbourne’s 3AW radio:
‘“One of their worst ads came out last year where they advised men to use a Lynx product to ‘wash away the skank’ after a regretted sexual encounter,” Melinda Tankard Reist told 3AW Mornings.
And just so we are fully aware of what we are dealing with here:
“Just so you know, the regretted sexual encounter promoted by the American version of Lynx Axe, was described as one that might involve a disabled or elderly woman. And click here to look at this pro up skirting product brought out by Axe a few years ago.”
So aside from Unilever’s dirty tactics, women’s dirty attitudes and Linx’s dirty balls, what about the children? Do they (or us) need anymore pornification in everyday life?
Here’s a slogan: Talk to your sons before Unilever does because they could end up suffering from a different Lynx effect than what they actually intended if they use Lynx products:
Twelve year old Daniel Hurley died after spraying Lynx in an enclosed space. Daniel’s father, Robert, said the youngster was proud of his appearance and was “lavish” in his use of deodorants and hair gels. Note: Lynx/Unilever do not display the ingredients on their products. But they do say that Lynx contains *fragrance as stated on their website.
But aside from tragedy and sexism, what is it lately with all the dirty genitalia that apparently needs these ‘products’ to make them clean? Dirty Balls, Lynx. Smelly Vaginas, Vagasil. What’s with this? Is there something wrong with a bar of soap and a shower? And are these companies creating body issues or do we already have them, therefore creating the need for these products? The questions are rhetorical, designed to make you think, peoples…
In this YouTube clip, Collective Shout’s Lynx Ad, shows the real Lynx affect (not the bullcrap advertising one, or the Lynx affect that impedes breathing, hampers asthma and makes my eyes swell up).
* Fragrance chemicals: The perfume/and fragrance industry is self-regulated; therefore, the only ingredient a consumer can identify in a bottle of perfume/fragrance is, yep, you guessed it, fragrance… The chemical components in fragrance are protected under the Trade Secrets Act and they are described on the label only as ‘fragrance’. And, the term ‘fragrance’ is a generic word used to describe the mix of any of up to 5000 chemicals within these recipes. Because they do not disclose to the consumer the products ingredients, it is difficult to identify which chemical component(s) of the fragrance is causing symptoms.
And finally, here’s how to Take Action!
(Information from Collective Shout‘s webpage)
Tell Lynx what you think about their ad campaigns
(I’m off to take a shower now.)