Really, Clorox?

Did any of y’all Mad Men fans out there see the Clorox ad from last night (which apparently ran last year as well)? The image above reads: “Clorox. Getting ad guys out of hot water for generations.”

I just love that the one time I see laundry detergent not targeting women,  it targets men — as cheaters.

P.S. Look out for our Mad Med Midweek Fix covering last night’s episode on Wednesday!

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  • jiujitsubuddah

    I guess the thinking is that a man would only do his own laundry, instead of his wife, ‘cuz ya know, that’s what wives are for, if he has to hide something from her. Ugh! Seriously, home product ads haven’t changed at all since the 50s.

  • http://feministing.com/members/4thwavefeminist/ Emma

    It’s just a joke, and a funny joke at that. It doesn’t say, “Your husband is a man, he’s a cheater.” That would be sexist. It’s saying, “Look, there’s a stereotype that ad executives have always been partial to alcohol and sex. There are some guys out there who fit the stereotype of ad execs with a wondering eye, and when they wind up with lipstick on their collars, they turn to our product.”

    Besides which, ad executives are notorious for their decadent lifestyles, at least they were in the 50s and 60s: http://www.usatoday.com/money/advertising/adtrack/2009-08-30-real-life-mad-men-were-about-sex-and-booze_N.htm

    • jiujitsubuddah

      I think the “it’s just a joke” response to sexist, racist, homophobic, etc., things is old and does not really make it okay or any less sexist, racist, homophobic, etc. Are ads showing women scrubbing kitchen floors on their hands and knees with a big smile, with big bold letters about a “woman’s place”, somehow “funny” because it’s a stereotype about women? I don’t think so. And neither is this.

  • http://feministing.com/members/napoleoninrags/ Sean Roberts

    Apart from apparent moral outrage about glorifying “cheating” I really don’t understand the criticism of this ad. It airs during Mad Men quite intentionally because it is playing on the stereotypes concerning ad men that the show explores. I am not trying to say “this is a joke and therefore should not be analyzed” but rather I’m legitimately confused about how this particular joke is offensive (from a feminist vantage point) simply by calling attention in a humorous way to the supposed philandering of business men in the 50s and 60s.

    • http://feministing.com/members/hillaryb/ Hillary

      I agree with the point that it’s an ad targeted to play during a show where there’s a philandering ad exec (well, several) as a main character. it’s meta.

      and yeah, hopefully someday there will be home cleaning product ads that aren’t problematic- but I won’t hold my breath…

  • z

    This was posted during Mad Men? I don’t watch the show. But, based on this description from wikipedia- “The show presents a subculture in which men who are engaged or married frequently enter sexual relationships with other women,” couldn’t Clorox have been trying to target a specific audience? Not necessarily men, but perhaps they thought if people enjoyed watching a show involving infidelity then they would find this commercial funny? I don’t know their intention, but if it’s this explanation then I really don’t find it offensive.

    • http://feministing.com/members/arielmorgan/ Heather

      “Not necessarily men, but perhaps they thought if people enjoyed watching a show involving infidelity then they would find this commercial funny?” I would just say that, if that were the line of logic (and I don’t disagree that it sounds credible), I think they cast off the mark on that line between humorous and over-the-line (though maybe not by much.) I think it’s in bad taste, and rather offensive.

      However, as a conscious non-consumer of most television in general, pretty much for this very reason, I know that I am not a good judge of how the average american consumer would read this ad.