An old commercial for a bathroom cleaner has gone viral again for its disturbing and, according to some critics, sexist content.
In 2009, Method — a company that prides itself in making “planet-friendly” cleaning products — released an advertisement promoting Shiny Suds, a bathroom cleaner.
The video, which is just over a minute long, begins with a woman greeting a group of animated suds. The commercial then cuts to a scene in which the woman walks into a bathroom and undresses. She opens the shower curtains and appears visibly shocked as a number of suds greet her.
“You’ve forgotten us already?” one of the suds says, while the others chuckle.
When the woman asks them why they are still in the tub, they explain that they are chemical residue left over from the bathroom cleaner she had used.
“We give you the impression we’re clean,” one says. “And then we get to watch you clean,” another says.
As the clearly uncomfortable woman takes a shower, the suds yell in excitement.
“Use the loofah,” one suggests.
The commercial ends with a message that reads, “You deserve to know what chemicals are in your cleaners. Support the Household Product Labeling Acts.”
Though the ad was praised by marketers at an Association of National Advertisers conference that year, it was widely criticized by many viewers, some of whom accused it of being sexist and condoning rape, according to Ad Age. The commercial, created by New York-based advertising agency Droga5, was promptly taken down.
“We received a great deal of feedback about the Shiny Suds video, much of it overwhelmingly positive,” a spokesperson for Method told Ad Age at the time. “We also received feedback from concerned viewers. … As with all media messages, people will interpret our video in different ways. The purpose of the video was to raise awareness for transparency in cleaning product ingredients, to which we remain committed.”
The commercial has resurfaced since, drawing mixed reactions on YouTube.
“This isn’t funny,” one person wrote. “It’s just messed up …”
Others found it humorous.
“When your bathtub turn into a Frat House! LOL,” another wrote.
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