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Just because people like to insult New Jersey by calling it the “Armpit of America,” doesn’t mean you can use it as a marketing tool. Unilever's Dove brand is learning that the hard way after it used the phrase in a new billboard for its latest Dove campaign.
The billboard showed a smiling woman with her arm lifted to show off her armpit. “Dear New Jersey,” the advertisement said, “When People call you 'The Armpit of America,' take it as a compliment. Sincerely, Dove.” It goes with a new commercial that’s called “Women’s Open Letter to the Arimpit” to promote the new Dove Advanced Care deodorant.
New Jersey residents who do not consider the “Armpit of America” phrase a compliment quickly took to social media to criticize Dove. Some have rushed to its Facebook page to complain and some even vowed to never buy one of their products again.
According to ABC News, Dove later posted a statement apologizing for the billboard. “With our 'Dear New Jersey' advertisement, Dove deodorant never intended to upset the residents of the state,” the statement read. “As a result of your feedback, Dove deodorant will not be moving forward with publishing or displaying this ad.”
Matthew McCarthy, a senior marketing director at Unilever told ABC News that the company really did not intend to insult anyone. The intent “was to call attention to the fact that armpits can and should be considered beautiful and ask women everywhere to accept this as something that is okay,” he said.
Coincidentally, Unilever is actually based in New Jersey. The company also owns Pond's, Axe, Degree and Ben and Jerry's.
image courtesy of YouTube