Summer's Eve Update: Fail to the V
Last week we posted about an offensive ad for Summer's Eve that featured Cleopatra. It turns out that the ad was just one part of Summer's Eve's new "Hail to the V" campaign, which features a whole series of ads that are sexist, racist, and just generally horrible.
Fleet - the company that owns the Summer's Eve brand - has launched a new campaign to promote their Summer's Eve feminine hygiene products. Attempting to portray their products as empowering to women, the “Hail to the V" campaign includes a series of video advertisements with Black, Latina and Caucasian talking hands, representing vaginas, that speak in a very stereotypical manner. The Richards Group, the agency behind these ads, has dismissed the criticism that the ads are racist, stating that their “in house multi-cultural experts” approved the campaign.
There is also a video ad that features knights jousting and martial artists fighting, backed by a voiceover that claims “over the ages and throughout the world, men have fought for it, battled for it and even died for it”. The accompanying series of print ads claim that famous women in history would have used Summer's Eve products had they been available back then. An ad featuring Cleopatra refers to her vagina as her “most precious resource” while an ad featuring Helen of Troy suggests that the fall of Troy was due to “more than her face”.
Their "Hail to the V" is really "FAIL to the V". The entire campaign is overwhelmingly sexist and insulting to both genders, as it reduces women to a single body part – “the center of civilization” as one ad calls it – and implies that all men’s actions are based solely on their desire for it. It also perpetuates stereotypes about black and Latina women. Summer's Eve ads claim to be about empowerment, but they're really about selling women the idea that we need their (unnecessary and often unhealthy) products in order to "feel fresh".
We've started a change.org petition asking C.B. Fleet to pull this entire offensive campaign. Please sign and join us in telling Summer's Eve to correct this Fail to the V.