Banishing stereotypes? Unilever’s Dollar Shave Club slammed for Porn Hub campaign

Banishing stereotypes? Unilever’s Dollar Shave Club slammed for Porn Hub campaign

THE WHAT? Unilever has been criticized for advertising its Dollar Shave Club brand on Porn Hub, a site that is charged with failing to remove illegal content featuring children as young as three, according to a report published by The Times.

THE DETAILS Unilever-owned Dollar Shave Club ran a campaign on Porn Hub earlier this year, despite the fact that its parent company has threatened to withdraw its ads from Facebook and Google due to ‘swamp-like’ content in the past.

Porn Hub is notorious for carrying illegal and morally dubious content – including indecent images of toddlers, footage of school girls filmed on the sly, revenge porn and scenes of public indecency, according to The Times.

Unilever has attempted to distance itself from the furore, claiming that Dollar Shave Club has ‘operational independence’ and that the Anglo-Dutch FMCG giant’s head office was unaware of the campaign. In a statement issued to The Times, it said that it would ensure that none of its brands advertise on Porn Hub in the future, or on any other porn sites.

THE WHY? Porn Hub claims to be the world’s most popular porn website, with 110 million visits daily and an audience that is 71 percent male, says The Times.

“It’s not expensive but interestingly, the exposure that you can get and the impressions are huge,” Matt Knapp, Creative of Dollar Shave Club said of the brand’s decision to buy space on Porn Hub.

We get it, the shave category is highly competitive, the figures are compelling. However, with its high-profile push for marketing best practice and pledge to remove stereotyping and bias from its ads, you’d expect Unilever to eschew sites whose entire raison d’etre promulgate gender inequality, not to mention publish illegal material.

That Unilever famously threatened to pull advertising from Facebook and Google back in 2018, with then Marketing Director, Keith Weed slamming the platforms for failing to keep a lid on ‘racism, sexism… toxic content directed at children’ adds to the absurdity. Not good enough Unilever.

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