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6 Ways the new Veet ad is outrageously offensive

Did Veet steal some advertising ideas from the people at Snickers? Because they’re also seriously offending people with their new ad campaign.

Veet offends with new commercial
Photo credit: Adam Gault/Stockbyte

You know what we don’t see much in advertising? Shame. And you know why that is? Because it’s an incredibly bad idea to build a campaign around it.

Shaming someone into buying your product is, well, ridiculous, irresponsible and absolutely mind-boggling.

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But the people at Veet have come up with a new advertising campaign with shame at the very core of their strategy. We can’t even imagine why they thought embarrassing women into buying their hair removal products was a good idea, but they did.

The U.S. commercials are part of their “Don’t risk dudeness” campaign. Each of the ads shows the woman morph into an overweight and hairy man who defends herself when someone, like her boyfriend, her beautician or a taxi driver, notices she has body hair, even though she “shaved yesterday.”

Video credit: Brilliant Ads

In one of the commercials, the woman even defends herself as she’s pulled into an ambulance and the paramedic begins to cut off her jeans to get to her injuries.

“Please, not the panties,” the woman, who now appears to be a man, says, implying that she hasn’t taken heed of the old saying, “Always wear clean underwear and never be unprepared.”

She’s unprepared and she’s embarrassed about it.

Even in an ambulance? Oh, come on.

The ridiculousness of the messages in Veet’s new advertisement campaign doesn’t stop there, either; here’s why the commercial is outrageously offensive.

1. It’s wildly sexist

Veet’s company slogan is “What beauty feels like”. But in their latest string of commercials, beauty feels like a women trapped in a man’s body, who has self-esteem issues and is ashamed of her boyfriend seeing her as she naturally is. Yes, even with leg hair stubble. She probably wears makeup to bed, too. Groan.

2. It preys on women’s insecurities

The series of commercials preys on women’s insecurities by saying that if you don’t look like this, or take care of yourself like this, then you’re masculine, you’re overweight and you’re unappealing. Way to go, Veet. Way to make a woman feel good.

Video credit: Brilliant Ads

3. It’s homophobic

In one of the commercials, a woman is in bed with her boyfriend, who is surprised by the stubble on her legs. Shocked to find himself in bed with his girlfriend, who is now a man, he squirms and withdraws. It sends a very visual message that being in bed with a man is wrong.

4. Did you pick up on the racism? Of course, you did.

During one of the commercials, we find a woman at a beauty salon getting a pedicure done by none other than a stereotypical and racist portrayal of an Asian beauty therapist — speaking wildly and almost incoherently in her broken English.

Video credit: Brilliant Ads

5. Out of touch

After the epic fail of the recent Snickers ad, you’d think advertisers would be a little more in touch with women in their advertising, right? Especially when the product is targeted at women. But that doesn’t seem to be the case here. This commercial just shows how out of touch with its market Veet really is.

6. It’s all about impressing men

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking care of ourselves and putting in that extra effort to feel and look good for ourselves and for the people around us, including our partners. But to so blatantly market a product to women by telling them they’re not going to be attractive to men if they don’t use it, well, that’s just insulting.

Here’s what other people have to say about the ad campaign:

Veet has since apologised and withdrawn the commercials due to “misinterpretation of its tone” and “in light of the feedback received”.

What do you think about the advertisement? Share your thoughts in the comments below or join the debate on Twitter.

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