Always crying? Sometimes there is good news…

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.

Personal note

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.


9 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Jennifer said,

    Well said as usual Jane

  2. 2

    kathz said,

    That’s helpful because it’s not always easy to know what it likely to hurt someone with different experiences and a different perspective. I’m trying to think it through carefully and I think there’s bound to be some tension between different perspectives on being female – often because of different cultural experiences entailing different kinds of pain and anguish. (I’m thinking of the kind of cultural attitudes and prejudices that led to various movements around feminism and sexuality.) I think that greater honesty and understanding – often around areas which induce shame, guilt and a sense of inferiority – are vital if we’re actually to understand one another and do our best to treat human beings with courtesy. It’s interesting that you often speak of areas in which women have historically felt pretty heavily policed: menstruation, reproduction, and also appearance. You’re always very careful not to be reductive about this and you never suggest that there is one right way in which all women behave – but I think the sense of being controlled in these particular areas can create a reaction which is in danger of causing offence. I don’t know if this is clear or helpful in any way but it seemed worth trying to think through this particular cause of distress and to consider it in a wider context. (But the context, of course, is enormous.)

    • 3

      janefae said,

      thanks for the vote of confidence.

      i’d say a very big part of this is wrapped in the first time a bloke just casually patted my bum. I was shocked…bemused…unsure…intimidated…you name it: and yes, i was also over the moon. It meant, at some visceral level, acceptance as a woman. Then i felt guilty, because i know it is the precise antithesis of what so many feminists have worked for.

      And then, oopening up on the topic to friends who are a mixture of feminist and radical and none of the above, i found much the same reaction…even from mature women: not simply the objection to it happening; but the shame at realising that at some level it can be affirming.

      Same, i think, with so much else that we talk about. Sometimes, just being treated as BADLY as everyone else can make you feel better…


  3. 4

    Cheryl said,

    It’s called biology. A man who wants to wear a dress can do so and more power to him, but he’ll never be female. Which is why you appear to be insane.

  4. 5

    Cheryl said,

    Attaching a plastic squirrel’s tail to my ass does not magically render me into an authentic squirrel. Even cutting off the tail of a real squirrel and attaching THAT to my ass can’t transform me into a genuine squirrel.

    Which is why you appear to be insane.

  5. 6

    emilymuna said,

    Hi Jane, just stumbled upon your blog off of an F Word article on the viral advert. I found your words very inspiring- and I’m deeply upset about the affect that the terrible video has had on people. Solidarity and respect. x

  6. 7

    kathz said,

    Cheryl, I think your comments are stupid and offensive – and plainly intended to be hurtful. I don’t know why you feel obliged to go round saying offensive things to people you don’t know – it strikes me as a very strange compulsion – and I don’t know why you lack the usual human impulse to understand and empathise. Maybe this shortcoming in your character has some deep-seated psychological cause which you would like to explore and investigate it – or maybe you just like being nasty and unpleasant. I don’t know enough about you to know which is the case but I do find your behaviour rather strange – as you may if you start to think about it.

  7. 9

    […] its way on to the net a few months back (by way of a showreel produced by the production company), P&G were quick to dissociate themselves from it. While the trans community now has legal protection from discrimination in many jurisdictions, it […]

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