I thought last yearís Summerís Eve campaign was horrendous enough. After they asked me to be their spokesperson (and I said ďNo freakiní way -†itís supposed to smell like that!”) I was appalled at their advertorial in Womanís Day magazine that offered up tips for how to ask your boss for a raise. Nobody mentioned things like ďHey, you know how I come up with the most creative ideas in the board room and we land boatloads of accounts because of my brilliance.Ē Nope, instead, the #1 tip for asking your boss for a raise was WASH YOUR VAGINA. You sure wouldnít want to show up with a stinky cooch when youíre asking for the big bucks. (You can†read the whole story here).
Last year, they effed up so badly, their marketing director even publicly apologized on Owning Pink. She asked me how Summerís Eve could rectify their major f*ck up. Hereís what I wrote to her:
How can Summer’s Eve fix this? I thought long and hard about it. Yes, I know it must be a PR nightmare, and I empathize with those who are struggling to rectify what has happened. But how CAN Summer’s Eve fix this and stay in business?
I would love to see Summer’s Eve start a campaign aimed at helping women learn to love their bodies (and their good-smelling natural vaginas) just the way they are. Rather than tapping into the fears and insecurities most women have about their girl parts, why not help them know that they’re normal – and they’re beautiful, and that if they have an odor so strong that they might not get a raise – they need to see a doctor!
How will this sell product for Summer’s Eve, when I know you all have quotas to meet? Just look at alcohol and tobacco companies for guidance. They are selling something most of us know is bad for us and yet many use the products anyway. So while it may seem counterintuitive to empower women about how to love their natural odor, rather than scaring them into buying a feminine wash, it just might work. There are still those committed followers of the brand who will love the brand all the more for helping spread the message that we’re beautiful, perfect, whole beings. If the brand starts a campaign like this with a pure heart – not just to sell product but to truly help change the way the female body is viewed, that would be something I would rave about here at Owning Pink. That would take guts. That would take a stand on behalf of all of us. And I’d love to see more brands willing to truly support the whole health of women.
So thank you, again, for your apology. Now, take a deep breath, get a massage, call your BFFs so they can take you out and give you hug, and please join the rest of us in the fight to redefine the new feminism and bring advertising into the modern world.
Unsurprisingly, I got no response.