Herbal Essences brings up a stir

By Ally Taylor
May 19, 2003
As a female that enjoys showers, and making my hair look it's best, I would like to address the fact that the "organic experience" ad's are offensive to many. After discussing the issue with my roommates, and several friends, I decided that our concern should be voiced. I do hope that you will consider what we have to say.

The ad's in question link "organic" to orgasm in a very clear sense, using sex, and sexual appeal to market the product. The way this is portrayed in our view is highly sexist, and offensive. Four men washing one woman's hair, in such a fashion I believe is immoral, and inappropriate. I also believe it to be a bad message to be sending to young women, like myself. Four men washing one woman's hair, is such a fashion I believe is immoral, and inappropriate. I also believe it to be a bad message to be sending to young women, like myself.

I wrote Clairol with my concerns and they kindly replied with the following:

Clairol replied with:

"Consumer research is an essential step in developing every Clairol advertising program. We conduct personal interviews, phone surveys, small group focus meetings, or use any number of other survey methods in the hope they will provide us with an accurate evaluation of consumer response. Sometimes they don't.

Your message has alerted us to a possible problem. You can be sure we will share your comments with our advertising agency and all the Clairol employees who worked on that campaign."



Open letter to Clairol from reader Sheri Brown:

I am writing in concern for my five year old daughter and all the other children that are exposed to the offensive and borderline pornographic advertisements by Clairol advertising their herbal essences line.

I find it disgusting and embarrassing that my daughter has to hear it and then look at me in question of why that woman is making noises that is supposed to be an orgasm. I would like to ask a question. What is the point in having television shows rated for children viewers when you can't even walk out of the room for minute and you have to hear some woman having an orgasm in front of your child.

Commercials are becoming more and more sexual. One products' advertisers trying to out due the other to the point that they have lost sight of who their target audience is. Have they forgotten that children are exposed to this? Or, do they even care?

I would like to see a new format for future herbal essences ciommercials. Don't these people have any creativity at all.