*EDIT: Due to the overwhelming response from the blog community expressing their outrage over the commercial, Method has since taken the “Shiny Suds” commercial down.*
Once again, we are pleased to feature a guest blog post from Rebekah Nathan!
I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting to find eco-friendly cleaning products to use in my home. The chemicals that are used in most generic cleaners are a concern for a lot of us, and if you’re not up for making your own natural cleaners, then you’re left with the task of browsing the aisles trying to find the earth friendly products amongst the vast array of cleaning products vying for you attention.
Method Home Products is a company that claims to be both environmentally friendly and free of nasty chemicals. Perfect! However, when I saw the recent TV ad/PSA they have put out, I was left completely shocked and speechless. Treehugger called it ‘disturbingly funny’, but I’d argue that it is just flat out disturbing.
Melissa over at Shakesville has both the video and the transcript if you’d prefer to read it rather than watching, but please note that it comes with a trigger warning. Basically the ad shows a woman about to jump in the shower, when she finds a group of cartoon ‘Shiny Suds’ racing around her tub, left over from her previously usage of a generic and chemical filled cleaner. She is visibly shocked to see them there but they remind her that she had sprayed them there in the first place (read: it is her doing, her fault) and instruct her to get into the tub, one even calling out ‘Scrubsy-dubsy, baby’. The woman continues with her shower, all the while having to listen to the group of suds (which interestingly enough all have male voices) harass her with calls of ‘You know you want it!’, ‘Woo! Yeah!’, ‘Use the loofah!’, when they’re not staring with cartoon mouths agape and panting. Throughout the ad the woman looks frightened and worried, and is trying to clean herself while doing her best to cover her body from the eyes of the Shiny Suds. The ad finishes with the text ‘You deserve to know what chemicals are in your cleaners. Support the Household Product Labeling Acts.’
Obviously the point of this ad is that we need to be aware that chemicals left over from generic cleaners are nasty, nasty things. However, to reenact a scene of sexual harassment, and in a humorous way at that, is not only offensive and triggering, but also trivializes something that is very, very serious and real for a lot of women. Statistics show that in Canada, 1 in 4 women will be sexually assaulted, and that 87% of women report having experienced sexual harassment .
Not only is sexual harassment something that is real, but to show a woman being harassed and scared in a joking manner in order to sell a cleaning product, gives us a disturbing insight into how women are viewed and valued (or not) in society. Finally, by the Shiny Suds reminding her that she had left them there in the first place and effectively set herself up for the harassment, hints at rape apologism and the idea that women are often ‘asking for’ the unwanted attention they receive by the way they dress, walking alone at night or daring to be sexually independent. Whether this was intentional or not, this all paints a pretty disturbing and depressing picture.
If you want to express your outrage over this ad, you could do so by commenting on the Treehugger post here that celebrates the ad. Alternatively, you can contact Method directly via;