On the 26th of June, The Italian Institute for Self-discipline in Advertizing – IAP (…the name speaks for itself), sentenced that the new Uggies Diapers TV Spot was against the rules dictated by the authority.
The spot was produced by KIMBERLY-CLARK S.r.l. for the new line of diapers ‘BOY and ‘GIRL’ and was aired on all major national television channels for a month, until plenty of protests grabbed the attention of the authority.
Now, before to dive further into this, I think I need to explain the big difference there is between Italian television, and most of all Italian advertising, and the rest of the world:
in Italy we do not make clever spots, we rely mostly on famous testimonials to sell products, and we (advertisers) NEVER, EVER, EVER want to risk. This is why we create the concepts for our campaigns like we were in a movie from the 50’s: perfect families, nice and pretty friends, super-sexy girls that sell just about anything, sweet little mommies cuddling, feeding, cleaning, worrying, and invisible dads.
And here we are!
**I’ll translate the words below**
” She’ll be concerned about being beautiful. He… will want to score a goal.
She will seak tenderness. He will look for adventures.
She’ll make others chase after her. He will chase you.
So little and already so different.
So why should you use the same diapers?…..”
Ok…. what’s wrong with this picture?
I mean, from the first SECOND I laid eyes (and ears) on the commercial I was simply disgusted and deeply offended as a woman, could it be that it was only me?
How could a professional, working on a tens of thousands euros commercial to be aired on national television, not have seen what thousands of women and men have seen and heard?
I just don’t get it.
Following I’m going to translate an extract from the public statement by The Italian Institute for Self-discipline in Advertizing
“… the message, aimed at promoting the new line of diapers “Huggies Boy” and “Huggies Girl”, wants to demonstrate the physical differences between men and women imposing different models and roles to each of them.
– on the girl the stereotypes that are imposed are “to be concerned with making herself beautiful” and “make a man chase her” (AND, if I may add, she is blatantly neglected the search for adventures, that is only given to the boy)
– for the boy the assumption that he will want to play football, look for adventures and chase women.
The different needs, physically speaking, for boys and girls are thus extended to their hopes and dreams for the future, described in a very simplistic way, and through gender stereotypes.
It is not the displaying of a conventional or common model that we don’t accept, rather the trivialization of the human complexity, when the model is presented as inevitable.
In this case, it becomes restrictive and degrading, almost as if the woman must necessarily be “beautiful, mother, and prey” and the man “a football player, hunter, and adventurous”
Well, I have to say I agree
The commercial has eventually been removed and I just want to say that I’m happy, and I’d like to give my ‘huggies’ (sorry for this…) to all women and men who raised their voice, careless about the insults and bad words coming from that part of Italian people who…. well who voted for Berlusconi basically.
And I want to add that I am sick and tired of the de-prioritization that women issues suffers: even today there were people saying that this is not a real problem, that this TV spot only speaks the truth (what??), that all the men and women who complained about it have nothing better to do and should instead worry about this and that (as this people actually worry about this and that…. of course not! But sadly this doesnt stop them from talking…)
Just in these days all Facebook profile pictures are covered with rainbows, celebrating the decision by president of the US Obama to legalize same-sex marriage, but instead I would like to paint my profile picture in hot pink and take part in a Woman Pride, which doesn’t even exist if we don’t count Women’s Day, which is one of the saddest celebrations in the world.
I am sick and tired of the terrible de-prioritization that women issues suffers: even today there were people saying that this is not a real problem, that this TV spot only speaks the truth.
My Women Pride would be different: for just one day we can forget about people who say there are “…more important problems” or that “…these are not real problems” or that call you a feminist just because you dared to say something about a women’s issue.
By the way just so they know: I am not a full-time feminist: I like to discuss all kinds of human rights issues, but I only get insulted when discussing women’s rights issues… now WHY is that?
For just one day we women and men would pour in the streets, dress in all colors of the rainbow, maybe men could wear women’s clothes and vice versa women could wear men’s clothes.
And we would hug and dance and shout to all the little people out there that is not our gender that makes us different from each other, but the fact that every human being it’s just special.