A new French TV ad for Dove Men+Care shampoo is currently the talking point of a few newsfeeds and blogs, and may be under investigation for being 'sexist'.

The advert depicts two chaps at the office, one of whom has suddenly and unwittingly adorned himself with long glossy locks. His co-worker asks if he has "done something with his hair" and quizzes him about what shampoo he is using, to which he presents a pink bottle of shampoo with a happy-looking woman on the front, (exactly why he's brought it into work is unknown). After a shower flashback he realises he now has "woman" hair - and is uncontrollably committed to whipping it in a very luxurious-hair-ad way - so he runs as fast as he can to a supermarket surprisingly overstocked on Men+Care products, dashes back to his shower and corrects the error. The tagline is read out;

"Women's shampoo is not made for you".

(This is, according to the Huffington Post - I don't speak French that fluently).

This is, of course, ruffling some feathers with the more PC-gone-mad portion of Western society. What is "women's" hair and "men's" hair anyway? What's with the gender stereotypes? This is all sexist!

What I find baffling about this isn't the ad itself, but the reaction. The advert is, by all accounts and measures, pretty funny. I can see where the problems lie, but men do respond to this kind of thing. Marketing to men is much harder than marketing to women to begin with, especially when it comes to beauty and grooming products. They're more likely to buy out of necessity and less likely to switch routines, and I guarantee Dove's marketing team will have researched what their male market responds to best, in this case that being humour. Additionally, that's clearly what this tagline was for - it's blatantly trying to tell the male customer that their Men+Care products are specifically designed for their needs as a man, whatever they may be, and that lines designed for women are simply not suitable. (This is largely untrue, but it's an implicit statement, so we can ignore it).



Now, I'm all for not being offensive, and generally speaking Dove isn't a brand that can angle for postmodern ironic stereotyping the way that, say, Yorkie or Fosters can. So I can see where the problem is here. And as somebody who enjoys an androgynous image, I find it quite pleasant and how combustible the gender stereotyping issue can be in the 21st Century. But really, this seems a little too far for me. It's not really that offensive.

In fact, if I'd been pitched this in Dove's boardroom, I'd have probably given it the green light myself.

Check out the advert and let us know what you think below!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=V6e_N5IzA24