Monday, February 7, 2011

Letter of Protest to Pepsi

In protest of this offensive Super Bowl ad, I sent the following letter to various Pepsi representatives at email addresses I could locate.  Before I share addresses where you can direct your own protest notes, I want to insure they are correct. If anyone can help locate appropriate addresses where such messages could be targeted, it would be appreciated.

I watched with much disappointment your Super Bowl ad “Love Huts” that depicted a woman attempting to control her male partner with repeated instances of supposedly humorous physical violence.

I cannot fathom a scenario where this ad would have been deemed acceptable if the genders had been reversed, and for good reason. For that same reason, neither should this ad have been broadcast.

Intimate partner physical abuse is regarded as a significant public health concern when its victims are women. Too often in mass media entertainment, when its victims are portrayed as men, it is a punch line. Your ad plays into long debunked myths that domestic violence is only a problem when its victims are women. While women are injured more frequently than men in domestic violence situations, a significant body of credible scholarship shows that women and men inflict comparable levels of domestic violence. Unlike women, men are stigmatized to not report their victimization because complaining about it isn’t considered “manly.” When men do seek help, they are often discriminated against by domestic violence service providers and law enforcement systems.

Ads such as this do a tremendous disservice to the countless men suffering in silent shame from the effects of domestic violence. Such ads also unwittingly endorse a toxic climate of partner abuse because they tell children that it is OK when mommy and daddy use violence to control one another.


Pierce Harlan