Bic Soleil and Fluid Hair Salon: Misogynist Advertising Making News… Again

By Angela Marie MacDougall

Within the same week where an Edmonton, Alberta hair salon defended their ad depicting a woman with a battered face, a friend sent me a picture of Bic Soleil ad taken at Grant Park Mall in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Case #1 – Fluid Hair Salon

The hair salon ad suggested they can make you look good after your boyfriend beats you up. With strong and extensive analysis and criticism that it makes light of violence against women -the owner of Edmonton-based Fluid Hair, insisted their ad was "art" and the concerned parties should "lighten up".

After the salon was vandalized the owner went on to call their ad "cutting-edge"

Salon Promises Good Hair When Partner Beats You Up

Case #2 – Bic Soleil – For Legs that Beckon

Though my friend thought that "someone" should, "raise hell" about it (and I encouraged him to do just that), in the case of the Bic ad, the response in the blogosphere has been mixed.  In Toronto, after a petition, large public outcry and several ads were vandalized Bic succumbed to the pressure and pulled the ads from the subwayZelda Lily wrote about the problems with Bic ads and the readers comments declared in no uncertain terms that they had NO problem with the ad:

Zelda Lily – On Bic Baffling Faux Vintage Ad

One blogger went further wrote in Shameless Mag – In Defence of the Bic Razor Ad

With advertisers leaning on the power of notions of artistic expression and "retro" and "ironic" advertising becoming industry standard, what’s your take?

We wrote about "Retro Sexism" and "Ironic Advertising" recently: The Desperation of Old Milwaukee Free Girl Ad

Here are a few more Vintage Ads that we’re happy to be rid of… aren’t we?