Roundup of Plan B Ad Backlash

Joe Veix

A commercial for emergency contraception, which aired in the UK last month, got an expected amount of grief from conservative parents.

Brand Republic reports on the controversy caused by the new Levonelle One Step morning-after pill
that aired for the first time last month. The quotes from this article are pretty irritating, though the controversy is small and ineffective considering the large step forward this is for over-the counter morning-after pills.

According to Brand Republic, "furious parents called up radio phone-in shows in their [sic] hundreds to complain…" Only hundreds? The backlash is coming from an unsurprisingly small number of people. And besides, does anyone even listen to the radio anymore?

"This trivializes a very important issue," one mother said. "Something as important as pregnancy should not be devalued for profit."

I can’t see how pregnancy was devalued in the commercial. The ad is a cartoon featuring a woman waking up next to someone she clearly doesn’t want to be with, above her text saying the condom split. The next scene is the same woman on a double-decker bus realizing that she isn’t ready to have a child. Commercials rarely, if ever, show someone actually thinking about their purchase before heading to the store, and the fact that in this particular commercial there’s an entire scene devoted to a character pondering the decision is remarkably important and valuable.

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"Even though it was shown after 9pm my teenage daughters were watching," a father complained, "The worst thing is it makes it seem normal to go and get this pill. We’ve crossed a moral line with this."

Jezebel responds to this quote marvelously:

"Apparently knowing about the existence of this legal form of contraception, and that a pharmacist should sell it to you over the counter with no judgment, is encouraging Britain’s teen girls to have wanton protected sex with grody rockers. If the dad is really that concerned, he could always talk to his girls about his feelings on safe sex and abstinence. But, it’s probably better that they don’t have that talk, thus increasing the chances that his daughter will bring home that sketchy dude and tell dad he’s ‘the one.’"

Judging by the relatively small amount of backlash, I think it’s safe to say that over the next few years we’ll see an increase in morning-after pill advertising.

Topics and Tags:

jezebel, morning after pill, Plan B

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