Sunday, March 02, 2008

Freedback: Unilever - Update

Dear Unilever Brands,

I want to take this time to thank you for all of the work you are doing through Dove brands and beauty awareness. This campaign is life giving beautiful work. I want my daughter to grow up knowing the things that the Dove Beauty campaign is teaching the Western world.

I stood at the pharmacy today to spin the bottle of AXE body spray in my hand because for the past couple of days I have seen some of THE most offensive commercials I've ever been exposed to for the young male teen body spray. I was crestfallen to see that YOUR VERY SAME COMPANY was the maker and purveyor of this backward, obscene trash. Young girls stripped to their underwear in public buses and grocery stores. "HOW CAN THIS BE THE SAME COMPANY BUILDING UP MY DAUGHTER" I ask myself. I am sickened by your divisive messages. How is my 12 year old daughter supposed to understand this, or my 10 year old son? Stunning young women stripped from their clothing so they can be ogled by some scent-spraying predator? Is this truly the message you want to send?

Women reduced to body parts in one ad, followed by another that tells them the exact opposite. Shame on you. It's pandering. It makes me wonder if you really mean what you say in the Dove commercials or if it's just a marketing tool used to woo the money from the pockets of women? I cannot stomach such hypocrisy. I have never held major corporations in high esteem. I know you are profit driven - but this Dove campaign won me over. I really believed you. I am so disappointed.

Friends - if you are as frustrated as I am with this mixed message please blog on this and then follow this link and tell Unilever about it. Leave me a comment and I'll add the link to your blog post here, consider this a meme, and I've tagged you all.

I am really considering a major switch away from any and all product lines they manufacture and promote. I am not a boycotter at heart, but this really saddens me.

CONTACT UNILEVER HERE


I will also post any response I receive from Unilever here.

These are the brands I have in my home at this very moment made by Unilever:
Bertolli, Dove, Hellman's, Wishbone, Knorr, Lipton, Sunlight & Vaseline... that's quite a loss of shopping revenue.

Here's the response I've gotten from Unilever UK:

Hi Heidi,

Thanks so much for writing!


Unilever is a large, global company with many brands in its portfolio. Each brand's efforts are tailored to reflect the unique interests and needs of its audience. As a manufacturer we feel it is a major responsibility to provide our friends and consumers with the most creative and informative means of advertising possible.

In developing product messages, Unilever and its agencies may not always anticipate all possible implications of an advertisement or television commercial. It is never our intent to offend anyone.

Consumer comments are very important and evaluated on a regular basis. Your comments have been forwarded to the appropriate staff within the company.

Chris Green
Unilever Consumer Services

Response from Dove Canada

Hi Heidi,

Thank you for taking the time to share your concerns with us. I'm sure you can appreciate that as individual brands, and as a company, Unilever takes its marketing responsibilities very seriously.

We have a wide portfolio of everyday consumer brands across both foods and home and personal care - offering products to consumers that address different needs. Each of our brands talks to its target consumers in a way that is relevant and that communicates its own unique proposition.

What unites all the products in the Unilever portfolio is our Vitality mission, which seeks to promote products that help our consumers look good, feel good, and get more out of life.

Unilever is a large, global company with many brands in its portfolio. Each brand's efforts are tailored to reflect the unique interests and needs of its audience. "The Dove brand is dedicated to making more women feel beautiful everyday by widening today's stereotypical view of beauty and inspiring women to take great care of themselves. "As part of this commitment, the brand created the Dove Self Esteem Fund to educate and inspire girls on a wider definition of beauty. The brand is dedicated to reach 5 million girls by 2010 with self-esteem programming. (in addition to the million girls they have reached thus far)

The Axe campaign is a spoof, of "the mating game" and men's desire to get noticed by women and not meant to be taken literally. "This campaign is targeting guys 18-24. Axe regularly tests its campaign with men and women who have shared that they see these ads as clever and funny .

Consumer comments are very important and evaluated on a regular basis. Your comments have been forwarded to the appropriate staff within the company.

Chris Green
Dove Consumer Services

I guess they don't have any problem at all with their mixed messages... sigh.

2 comments:

lynne said...

Here's my 2 cents worth.
Thanks for the head's up. Who knew!?
I CANNOT believe you are the same people who promote both Dove and Axe.
What hypocrisy. I guess it's whatever sells right? Well your Dove ads no longer wash with me! I would appreciate not having to see anything further from you if you are sending such mixed messages, and will no longer be buying from you as long as you do.

Dove Beauty Products said...
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