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Procter & Gamble's Secret is stirring up all sorts of complaints on Twitter with its latest campaign video for deodorant. The ad is an ode to the stress a person feels proposing to their significant other — in this case, a woman proposing to a man. The commercial aired on TV on Monday night; then on Twitter, Secret tweeted it with the question: "Why does every woman wait for the guy to ask it?"
The video is a part of the brand's new "Stress Tested for Women" campaign created by by Secret's advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy. The agency described the campaign to AdWeek in April as a way to focus on the larger, generational reasons as to why women sweat rather than the obvious physically induced reasons.
The third campaign video is only a minute long, but here's the gist: A woman is working up the nerve to propose to her boyfriend in a restaurant even though his reaction to her proposal isn't going as planned.
A teaser to the video was first posted on May 19, but has been gaining traction over the last few hours due to a barrage of negative mentions on Secret's 7-second teaser.
Some Twitter users are saying the video is heteronormative and isolates women who aren't straight, while others are saying the message is sexist in assuming that women don't already propose:
@SecretDeodorant every woman is a generalized statement. Not every woman does, not every woman is straight or wants to get married— Cat DeLuca (@whocares2693) May 23, 2016
@SecretDeodorant poorly written, sexist and heteronormative— Myles (@MylesUSA) May 23, 2016
@SecretDeodorant Not every woman does, so how about stop generalizing while acting like your statement helps women.— Terra (@PreciousTerra) May 24, 2016
Still other complaints about the video and tweet skewed the more conservative and traditional route:
@SecretDeodorant simply because I'm a traditional woman who wants to. Is that bad? No.— Lexi (@Ultraviolet1197) May 24, 2016
@SecretDeodorant let's not act like majority of women don't expect or even prefer the man to be the one to propose.— bleh (@kpopslaypop) May 24, 2016
@SecretDeodorant because I'm a lady. That's why.— Samantha (@thatgiirl30) May 24, 2016
This is the third video Secret has released with its "Stress Tested for Women" campaign, which includes a video titled "Raise" that touched upon the wage gap and another called "Three Dots" that refers to the stressful feeling you get while waiting for someone to reply to your text. Coincidentally, Dove recently released a similar commercial in which a woman proposes to her boyfriend.
We've reached out to Wieden + Kennedy to comment on this particular video and the responses it's getting and will update this post as soon as we hear back.
Update: A spokesperson from Wieden + Kennedy offered the following statement regarding the tweet:
The original tweet went live during the season premiere of the Bachelorette and was intended to reflect the show's gender dynamics. We realize that the post didn't convey our intentions and have since updated the language. Our Stress Tested campaign celebrates all women and strives to bring to life inclusive stories about women challenging gender norms in society.