For more than a year (!) a Canadian salon has been running this ad, which depicts a sullen-looking, black-eyed woman seated on a couch, her back turned toward a creepy-eyed businessman who just might be her boyfriend. Battered women deserve great haircuts too, right?
Unfortunately, some of the folks in Edmonton—hometown of Fluid Salon, the hair cut, color, and consultation palace in question—believe the ad "glamorizes" domestic violence. Actually, it would be more accurate to say that it would be unfortunate if Fluid cared about such reactions; the Edmonton Sun reports that they remain "unapologetic" about the ad:
Store owner Sarah Cameron said the point of the ads was to spark controversy, but they were never meant to target or attack anyone.
"It might strike a chord, but as the way our society and community is getting, we keep tailoring everything because everyone is getting so sensitive," said Cameron.
"Anyone who has a connection or a story behind anything can be upset or have an opinion. We are not trying to attack anyone."
Okay, that might all be true! Maybe we're just supposed to imagine that the woman in the ad has a black eye because she got into a fight with some chick in a club, or smacked her face against a cabinet door while reaching for her dinner plates, or is a martial arts fighter of some sort. But it's unlikely that any of us would draw any of these conclusions—especially with old Creepy standing behind her, holding that sparkly guilt-gift. A scan of Fluid's arsenal of advertisements doesn't suggest that the salon is pro-domestic violence, per se (though most of them try way too hard to be sexxxy and edgy, as in: woman pulling another woman out of a hearse; naked gals with hot dogs; and what's up with the "quasi-Ke$ha duo playing in the forest" one? Is the woman on the left banging her friend on the back of the head using some kind of fireplace broom, or what?).
A rep from the Advertising Standards of Canada says someone must file a complaint before the agency can determine whether the ad violates the Canadian Ad Standards Code. Which might happen, now that people have noticed it. It's surprising that this ad didn't spark any controversy when it debuted more than a year ago.