February 23, 2009
Dear Executives at NBC and P&G (owners of the Gillette Venus Embrace),
I write this letter to express my disappointment regarding your Venus Embrace razor “check please” advertisements during the broadcast of the 2009 Tyson American Cup–a gymnastics meet of the top elite men’s and women’s gymnasts from around the world.
On Saturday afternoon, NBC broadcast live portions of the meet. I watched this meet with great interest with my ten year old son–also an USAG competitive gymnast. We were excited to watch the men’s high-flying tricks and the skills of 13 year old Jordyn Wieber, all around winner. But sadly, we were forced to change the channel solely because of the sexual content of your commercials. These depicted numerous scenes of men caressing women’s legs–even to the point of sliding their hands up under skirts. The final scene of the ad depicts a couple falling in embrace onto a bed in a sexual position.
Your message clearly expresses that men (and therefore boys) can’t resist a woman’s smooth legs. While my son found the ad disgusting, you still “educated” him as to how a man should focus on a woman’s legs.
There is no reasonwhy you cannot successfully promote your product without sexualizing a day-time television audience that includes children. Other advertisers recognized that the audience included teenagers and targeted them with ads (appropriately) for snacks.
I ask you to pull this offensive ad and to cease sexualizing children for your bottom line. If your product is as good as you say, you can sell it without offending your audience.