A day after their commercials suggesting that women who don't wax turn into men overnight aired, Veet has quietly pulled the ads from YouTube, apologizing to anyone who was offended but arguing that the ads have been mostly "well received."
While posts featuring one of the four original commercials for their new waxing strips still live on Veet's Facebook page, the videos they link to on YouTube have been pulled. (One of the Facebook posts still includes an embedded teaser that has not been removed.) Veet's Facebook page is full of comments from angry consumers.
In a statement to Jezebel, a representative for Reckitt Benckiser, the company that owns Veet, said:
This is a US advertisement, and has only been aired in North America.
While the current advertising campaign for VEET running in the USA has been well received by most consumers who appreciate its wacky, tongue in cheek humour, it has also provoked a great deal of comment. We take our responsibilities very seriously and the ad was carefully reviewed before it aired. However we are very concerned by any misinterpretation of its tone or meaning, and in the light of the feedback received we have decided to withdraw it. We would also like to apologise for any offense it may have caused. That was certainly not our intention.
Veet's small U.S. marketing team made their first statement via their Facebook page today as well:
Hi…this is the Veet marketing team in the US. We just wanted to let everyone know, we get it – we're women too. This idea came from women who told us that at the first hint of stubble, they felt like "dudes." It was really simple and funny, we thought. To be honest, the 3 of us could really relate to these real-life moments and they made us laugh. Not everyone appreciated our sense of humor. We know that women define femininity in different ways. Veet helps those who choose to stay smooth. Our intention was never, ever, to offend anyone, so we decided to rethink our campaign and remove those clips. Thank you for letting us know how you feel.
RB, which also owns brands like Durex, Mucinex, Clearsil and Scholls, is a British company. They seem to want to make it known that this is a USA-specific issue; they've got iterations of Veet around the globe. Even Veet's social media presence isn't consistent across countries; they have active Twitter accounts for countries ranging from Mexico to India, but there isn't one for the U.S (though they do have a U.S. Pinterest page). This particular campaign was created by Havas Worldwide, the same agency behind the Evian Baby.
Though one of the ads is no longer anywhere online – the one targeting women who want to remove hair on their bikini lines – the rest have been saved here for posterity.