My heartfelt thanks to Karen at P&G’s press office, who had a look at the viral allegedly produced on their behalf and has just come back with the following statement:
“We can confirm that this is NOT a P&G commissioned campaign. We have the utmost respect for the consumers we serve and we do not agree with the way our brand has been portrayed in this spoof video.”
I also spoke to her, and this is not weaselling: as far as she is concerned, this is 100% absolutely nothing to do with P&G (so unless someone else now brings me cast iron proof of anything different, i’d say that they are out of the frame).
I still have calls in to Leo Burnett, who haven’t got back yet (but may have assumed that P&G would cover it): and one to Helimax Films whose name has also been associated with the clip. Again, will feed out any information i receive from either of those sources.
On the complaint front, it is a moot point whether this would have been the ASA. They recently widened their scope to cover the policing of online ads “controlled” by advertisers. A page, a url carrying such a viral would probably fall within the ASA’s remit: something purely viral would not. And a true viral would probably not be covered by Ofcom either, which leaves a bit of a hole in the regulatory environment.
I’ll finish on a very personal note. I think some trans women will get this exactly: some won’t. I think cis women will also get it. There are many things about not being born in my identified gender that are a nightmare for me.
Not having had a female childhood. Nor teens. Nor adulthood. All the things that i would have had, had things been different.
Somewhere in there is having kids: not just having children (I have two) but the entire maternal thing. Some women will consider that a positive, just, i am sure, as some would happily forego ever having to endure periods. Others will understand exactly the grief involved.
Because that is what it is and, as the person who so cruelly put this viral together may or may not understand, some of us DO cry with respect to what we never had, what we never could have had.
This viral isn’t funny. Or rather, it is funny in the same way as a spoof ad showing amputees crying over their inability to purchase Nike would be funny. I hope there will be a little more sleuthing done before this issue gets laid to bed: and i hope that somewhere, at some time, the person who inflicted this viral on the world will understand just how cruel they have been.
Temporary Update: I am hearing from other posters that both the ad agency and the production company are contradicting the P&G statement…i will therefore see what they have to say officially and report back further.