Hair-removal beauty brand Veet is coming under fire for its latest ad campaign, titled "Don't Risk Dudeness," which portrays women who haven't shaved their body hair as men. In one of the commercials, a guy wakes up in bed next to his girlfriend — only to discover that she's now a large, bearded man since she hasn't shaved her legs since (gasp) yesterday.
Earlier this week, the company told its more than 300,000 Facebook fans to be on the lookout for Veet's new ad campaign, which would premiere during Monday night's episode of "Dancing with the Stars." Now, that same Facebook page is full of angry comments from women who don't like the way the company is using gender stereotypes to sell their products.
"This commercial is incredibly offensive. For a company geared toward women you should be ashamed of yourself for sending out such a sexist message," wrote one Facebook user.
"Your new ad campaign sucks. Real dudes love their women regardless of when they last shaved," added another. Several more said that they would no longer use Veet products.
And it isn't only Veet customers who found the new ads in bad taste. The feminist blog Jezebel criticized the series of commercials in a front-page post. Writer Kate Dries pointed out that the ads were homophobic, since the boyfriend was disgusted to find himself in bed with another man. "I've got a slogan for you: Good grief; please cease!" she wrote.
In another one of the spots, a woman-turned-man is unable to hail a taxi because all that armpit hair grosses out the cab driver.
Over at advertising-industry publication AdWeek, Roo Ciambriallo joined the chorus of women who found the Veet ads offensive and not actually funny. She pointed out that other beauty brands like Dove and Pantene have been super-successful making ads related to women's empowerment, so Veet should have seen where industry trends were going.
This isn't the first time Veet has been accused of having bad taste. In 2011, the company ran a test ad in France that made puns about, well, shaving one's cat. The ad and an accompanying website aimed at teenage girls were pulled almost immediately after parents' groups complained.
So far, Veet has not commented on the negative responses to their "Don't Risk Dudeness" campaign and has not yet responded to Yahoo's request for comment. The brand's U.S. website was temporarily down on Tuesday, likely because a higher-than-usual number of people were visiting the site to comment or check out the campaign. So far, however, it doesn't look like the company is backing down. Splashed across the bottom of its homepage currently are three tutorials titled "What Is Dudeness?," "Find the Right Dudeness Protection for me," and "Un-Dude me Wax Strip Tutorials."
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