Monday, August 29, 2011

Canadian hair salon promotes itself with domestic violence imagery.

(click ad)
Well, she's about to get a shiny diamond necklace to match her shiner, so all's well that ends well? Edgy. Ad is for the Fluid Salon in Edmonton.
Ad agency: unknown.
Related: Headless women in top Montreal hair salon ads.
update: the ad was emailed to me anonymously. It fits the Fluid campaign look (more ads here).
update #2: the salon owner defends the ad here.

33 Comments:

Blogger Bock McMillan said...

This is absolutely sickening, horrific ans shameful!

How anyone can even consider this to be a "cool" way to promote anything at all except spousal abuse is a sad statement on how men´s violence against women is still viewed in many parts of society.

Thanks for exposing these douche bags, copyranter!

12:43 PM  
Anonymous -1-T-M- said...

... domestic violence imagery?

Not at all, and not a shiner.

The eye makeup on this empty, unbalanced trophy wife reflects her warped yin and yang system of aesthetics. This is so contrary to Taoist philosophy that generally discounts good/bad distinctions and other dichotomous moral judgments, in preference to the idea of balance.

Notice the positive/negative faux wood pattern lamp shades, another example of her all consuming malaise.

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can contact the salon directly to let them know your thoughts here: http://fluidhair.ca/?page_id=39

I have already let them know what I think of it. I noticed that this ad doesn't seem to be on their website.

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Kate said...

Bit of devil's advocate here - as a woman whose hobby involves getting a lot of bruises (I'm a rock climber) I'll argue that a woman with bruises is not *automatically* a woman who's been hit by her partner. I looked at this and thought, well - maybe she's a boxer. Or takes muay thai lessons. Or got that black eye defending a friend of hers from a mugger. Or had a snowboarding accident. (Women who do active or dangerous things also dress up fancy to go out, as well: and I can attest to the fact that we wear our bruises with some pride.) I DO also see how it can be seen as condoning domestic abuse too, so don't jump straight down my throat. Just saying that wasn't the first angle that jumped into *my* mind.

1:28 PM  
OpenID thenitehwk said...

I agree 100%+++ with comment above by Bock mcMillan - also what comes to mind (having been in print media ad sales myself b4) whom too hell allows this ad to be published in their media? I for sure as an ad rep - if was sent this ad asking for quote etc - would refuse to have anything to do with it. Does anybody have links where this ad has been published? We should also e-mail, call them etc to let them know how offensive this is.

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This hair salon ruined my haircut when I went their for the first (AND LAST) time in January 2011. I do not recommend them. Their ad only reinforces my stance.

1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hate to say it Kate, but you are dead wrong. The context in which this is shown is only meant to convey domestic violence. The man behind her is the reason for that black eye. It is not about female empowerment.

2:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow!!!! As a SURVIVING victim of abuse with death threats looming over my head DAILY, way to go. Really. No sarcasm here, not. Seriously what the EFF were you thinking? NO amount of money or gifts will ever make the emotional scars of what we abused women suffer ever go away!! A shiny new necklace? Really? SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kate, perhaps you need a better reading of context, because you and most of the other people who make similar observations seem completely unable to grasp it. She's shown, dressed up, in a domestic setting, with no other visible injuries, while a man stands behind her with what appears to be a gift but no look of joy or enthusiasm. If this doesn't imply domestic abuse to you, then you're being willfully oblivious.

If the context is to show that she still looks good after some sort of sports injury, why not show her in that context? Dressed up in a boxing ring, or in a skate park, or in some other setting? Her submissive position, the domestic setting, and the presence of the man in the room imply one thing.

3:24 PM  
Anonymous Claude said...

I don't get it. Her hair looks like shit.

4:52 PM  
Anonymous -1-T-M- said...

FYI
City salon unapologetic over racy ad

http://www.edmontonsun.com/2011/08/29/city-salon-unapologetic-over-racy-ad

4:56 PM  
Blogger copyranter said...

Yes, I update the post 1-T-M.

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Jill said...

I covered this on my blog and one of the updates covers the 'is this really a battered woman?' question. The owner says that's the intention herself. http://www.yesthatjill.com/index.php/awfulmarketingcampaign/

6:17 PM  
Anonymous UE said...

@Kate - a behind the scenes comment clearly says it was a battered woman:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=314193500205&set=a.314183320205.330662.713520205&type=1&theater

6:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After my own knee jerk reaction I really started thinking about this piece and the whole campaign. (the other two ads comment on homelessness and murder). These three issues are three of the most prevalent in Edmonton and are painted over with make-up by our ultra materialistic and oil based city's attitude towards them. We are known as the province of opportunity and you can see that affluence everywhere. Yet we are the murder capital of Canada, have huge domestic violence issues and with every giant truck on the streets there is a homeless person to go along with it. Yes, it may be in poor taste for a hair salon to bring notice to these issues but you have to admit it is art as you react in disgust to it. It's funny how we will eat up the lies of media that tell us that we will be happy once we have great hair but are sickened when an advertisement shows us a mirror to our own shallowness.
I hated it at first, then laughed at its absurdity and then I started to really think. Like it or not, this advertisement has more to say than the rest of the stupid untruthful ads out there. We can't cover up violence with great hair and this ad/art brings that into grim focus.

8:35 PM  
Anonymous Jane said...

This post was mentioned on Global Calgary tonight. A hairdresser from the salon said that they "didn't mean to offend anyone" but they "did get what they wanted out of it."

What a disgrace.

8:41 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

I'm still waiting for the wailing and caterwauling about the other five ads. One mocks homelessness, another implies necrophilia or some other unsavoury connections to cadavers, etc.

Every last one pushes a button, but this is the only one generating some fire.

8:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How is it that the ad was emailed to you anonymously when earlier today you did mention some name on here?
In any event, who cares?!

That said, this ad is crap and the more people talk about it the more (free) publicity they afford that hair salon. We've seen similar shocking ads before. Nothing new.

8:46 PM  
Blogger copyranter said...

Anon: I had a first name only. They emailed me again and said take their name off of the post.

9:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know for a fact that this photo was taken TWO YEARS ago and was taken so the onlooker could convey any meaning as to how she received it. That is what all photography is about, you decide the background and the story after all you are the viewer. To say instantly that this is about him hitting her shows your mind set. One friend I know said he thought she was so excited to get the necklace that she accidently hit her eye with it so she had to sit down and rest..... humour. I myself am quite suspicious as to how a Salon in Edmonton Alberta Canada is getting all this attention,a Salon situated in a "back alley"... I smell a setup for free Publicity...So my question is why all the fuss now after 2 years? It wouldn't surprise me at all if the owner of the salon sent it in for some free publicity, last I heard the were slow in business and there were only two stylist there which could house six or more.... Too much fuss for one photo that until now know one heard about... tomorrow everyone will have something new to be offended by and to comment on and so on and so on......

12:46 AM  
Blogger copyranter said...

I didn't know the ad was two years old, I don't get out to western Canada very often.

And I know for a fact the ad was not emailed by anyone associated with the salon.

6:33 AM  
Blogger Bock McMillan said...

It´s rather astounding to me to see the "creative thinking" people show in explaining away what is apparent in the picture.

Somehow it is even more more upsetting to me when some women revert to wishful thinking on this subject.

Turning a blind side to what you do not want to see - or want to know about - has never been successful, the problem does not go away. Wife beating exists, I would even go so far as to say it is a rather common pastime.

We must always take a stand against it when we see the signs of abuse. It is unacceptable and we should always make that perfectly clear, both to the abuser and to the abused.

10:49 AM  
Anonymous mad men rocks said...

It's common knowledge in the jewelry business that much of its sales is due to men having to pay off women for mens' bad behavior.

Big honking rings are the standard order.
Usually for cheating and humiliating the wife.

I think it was a mistake to make this ad, but if it raises womens' awareness that's a good side effect.

She has a shiner now, but next he's going for the neck from behind. And even though the rug is not blood red, it looks like a river of fluid with curvy edges.

12:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't mind it as an add. But I do notice that he leads with his left but comes in over her right shoulder with the necklace, which is not what a southpaw does. I look forward to the home cooking add to come where the battered housewife is in the kitchen with a steak on her eye till he comes back from the bathroom and she puts it in the pan to start cooking. Tagline : 'Steak it to him' suggesting a meat eating revenge angle.

6:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wtf, what kind of ad is this? That's messed up.

4:23 PM  
Anonymous Alex said...

At first glance I thought this was a clever anti-domestic violence campaign. Realising it was an ad took an adjustment; I couldn't understand how it was possible NOT to see how this was disturbing and offensive. And I'm not generally someone who gets easily offended.

The 'defence' that implies that people are just being sensitive because they might have been beaten is particularly charming, too.

For the record, I have, thankfully, no history on the receiving end of domestic violence and I still think the context is obvious and that this is tasteless and hurtful.

5:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a black eye once and I was not punched or abused. I see nothing that indicates she was punched in the eye but this is the world of jump to conclussions.

6:55 PM  
Anonymous KMH said...

I think people are taking this WAY too far! now the salon has been vandalized. FIRST OFF, the ad was ONLY on their facebook and myspace, and got FRONT PAGE of the #2 Distributed paper in the city! NEVER RAN THIS AD in print! NOT ONCE!!! this is ridiculous!
this is not a support FOR Domestic Violence OR for Jewelry. its showing the worst situations people deal with.
im not sure about anyone else, but i go to a salon to look better and feel better.
they caught attention for the OIL SPILL campaign but not like this, and in which they were DONATING to the cleanup. Not the act of an offensive bully.
do your homework before you team up on a young female entrepenuer, and listen to THEM SPEAK. we've heard the millions of people who arent being attack say their 2 cents.
enough is enough.

7:18 PM  
Anonymous northoftheborder said...

Ranter, did you foresee this?

Vandals Deface Edmonton Salon In Ad Controversy

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2011/09/01/edmonton-salon-ad_n_945834.html

7:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

above stated the other 2 adds in this campaign deal w/ homelessness & murder..if nothing else this add & the others have brought these issues to the surface as a topic of discussion..most people are going to feel outrage..art is supposed to provoke feeling..not cater to the feeling we want to feel...or the feeling that makes us comfortable..i, personally appreciate disturbing pieces(such as this)..because they are thought & emotion provoking..they start great conversations on important topics(such as domestic violence)by people who may not otherwise speak up..i am not a stranger to domestic violence..my first marriage sent me to the hospital a few times..i am not trying to glamorize anything by showing my support of this type of advertising..but, these people went out on a limb here...chances are they knew this might cause controversy...nobody is stupid enough to think it wouldn't..& to the people freaking out over this....you are actually promoting them... look how much attention this salon is getting...honestly, negative attention is much more attractive to the masses..upon reading this, i bet you all wanted to know where, who & why..if this was just an add w/ a girl w/great hair...nobody would've thought twice about this salon.

6:50 AM  
Blogger copyranter said...

Advertising is NOT art.

7:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know if I'd call this disgusting, so much as just tasteless.

At any rate, to those who don't think this ad references domestic violence, lets look at the signs.

A picture tells a story, and in this story a very short list of things come into play.

A clearly unhappy woman is sitting on the couch with a black eye. We can only make conjecture from what we see; thinking about what we can't see is a more unnatural step in abstract thought. While it's certainly conceivable she was "hit by a baseball", or "struck by a doorknob" or any other 'classic' excuse for what's been an iconic mark of "HAHA LOOK GUYS HE HITS HIS WIFE" since the 40s... there aren't any baseballs or doorknobs in the image.

Behind, we have a purposely sinister looking man. He has a faint, crooked smile, and his eyes are shadowed. He looms above with a gift-- apologetic offerings are a common followup to domestic abuse in reality.

Everything about him looks menacing. Everything about her looks, well, defeated.

Also, considering it's a hair ad, it looks like he's spent some time working her hair over. Possibly with the tommy gun he must have, if he's going to dress like that.

In the end, though, I don't really see how this makes domestic abuse looks cool. If anything it's more like making domestic abuse look less important than hair care.

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Tomas said...

What kind of idea is this?

2:41 PM  

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