A seemingly goofy viral video from household cleaner maker Method has been pulled amid complaints that the ad is sexist and possibly condones rape.
The "Shiny Suds" ad in question is a satire of typical bathroom cleaner commercials, supporting the Household Product Labeling Act, which requires companies to disclose the ingredients of household cleaners. It was created by Method's agency, Droga5, Ad Age reports.
In the ad, a woman sets a team of singing cartoon bubbles to work on her bathtub, smiling happily at the results. But when she returns to shower the next day, those diligent bubbles have transformed into gap-toothed perverts, urging the woman to get into the shower and whistling cat calls as she does.
Method pulled the video from both YouTube and its own website after a post on the Shakesville blog solicited more than 100 angry comments, some going so far as to say the ad was "beyond sickening." But not all of the response was negative. The video racked up more than 700,000 views in a week on YouTube and also received high praise from the Association of National Advertisers, according to Ade Age. Unauthorized posts of the video can still be found on YouTube as well.
The series of events mirrors last year's infamous "Motrin Moms" debacle and reinforces the power of niche bloggers online. In November 2008, Motrin was forced to pull a viral ad and issue an apology when mommy bloggers threatened to boycott the brand in response to a video they saw as offensive.