By now, you may have seen the new ad for Summer’s Eve, “Hail to the V.” If you haven’t, well, you aren’t missing much; but, almost as soon as they were released, they produced a firestorm of controversy. Three ads were made in total: one for white women, one for black women, and one for Hispanic women. The dialogue in the latter commercial is spoken in an exaggerated Latina accent, and a leopard print thong is mentioned. Rather than make women think, “Hip hip hooray! Hail to the V!”, the ads made me groan—as I’m sure it did other women.
Larry Woodard writes in ABCNews.com´s, “Summer’s Eve Ad Outrage,” about why such an ad, which has been almost universally reviled in the blogosphere, would be made in the first place. The author argues that, although ad agencies are aware of the need to target multicultural audiences, they are still overwhelmingly white. There is simply no one in the chain of command to say at one point, “Maybe this won’t work, guys.” If Summer’s Eve really wanted to target women of color, they should have hired a Hispanic agency or multicultural agency, rather than leave things in the hands of an agency that, although it surely meant well, simply didn’t have the multicultural expertise to carry off such a campaign.