Femfresh suffers social media vagina backlash

UPDATE – There has been no let up over night for Femfresh. It has been on the receiving end of several hundred comments almost  all mocking its use of language.

The brand, which is owned by Church & Dwight, posted again on its Facebook page saying “Thank you for all your posts. We are reading all of them and listening to your feedback”.

That post received another 100 plus comments as did the post before.  All were entirely negative.

The brand has also gone into reverse and lost several hundred fans and poses a significant problem for the brand. The use of euphemistic language in place of the word vagina is part and parcel of Femfresh’s brand positioning and currently features in its latest radio ad, which features the following text:

“Mini,twinkle, hoo haa, fancy, yoni, lady garden…Did you kinow that regular shower gels and soaps if used on your privates, could strip it of its natural defences causing dryness and iritation?

“With its pH-balance formula specially developed for intimate skin, fremfresh is one of the kindest way to care for your fancy va jay jay, kitty, nooni, la la, froo froo! What ever you call it make sure you love it. Femfresh. Expert care for down there,” hear the ad here.

As it stands it appears untenable for Femfresh to continue on Facebook with its current brand positioning as it faces the danger of being continually mocked and its posts hijacked by those who find its use of language offensive.

Femfresh has tried limiting access to the page and it currently only appears visible to those in the UK. Not even Irish residents can currently access the page.

FROM THURSDAY - Women’s hygiene brand Femfresh has suffered a major backlash on its Facebook page as “fans” took umbrage with its euphemistic terms for the word vagina.

Femfresh refers to it in several different ways on Facebook calling it “your kitty, nooni, lala…and froo froo”.

In a post about the Isle of Wight festival, with two women pictured, Femfresh asked “WOOHOO…Isle of Wight festival kicks off tomorrow. What do we think wellies or flip flops or both?” The comments in response are all entirely negative.

One response with 22 likes said: ” I can’t go to any festivals! I’ll be too busy sitting at home crying about the embarrassing smell of my shame-shame.”

While another with 34 likes wrote: ” I dunno, which do you think would go best with the bacterial vaginosis I would get from washing my vulva with anything other than water?”

Fremfresh has only been on Facebook since May of last year and its page has just over 5,300 fans.

Fremfresh took the step of responding and told fans: “Just a short note to tell all recent posters that we have seen your comments and we will be getting back to you.

“Whilst we welcome debate, please can we ask that you don’t post anything abusive or use bad language as this contravenes our policies and we will have to delete the posts. Thank you”

However, Fremfresh again immediately came under more fire as people continued to attack the brand for its use of language.

One pointed out this “really is social media hell” while another more pointedly wrote:

“Hey Femfresh, Just to let you know that we saw your ads and we are getting back to you. Unfortunately it’s too late to ask you not to post anything abusive because you already did.

“I’m really sad that you don’t see how abusive it is to put up ads informing me that not only should I infantilise my genitalia but I should also be ashamed of their natural (and lets face it quite attractive) smell.

“Unfortunately it’s probably a bit difficult for us to remove your ads but perhaps you would consider doing so. thanks. PS I’m assuming you realise that the word vagina isn’t offensive. Just checkin”.

It underscores the dangers that brands face if they fail to get the tone right in social media spaces. Femfresh with its euphemistic language looks like it needs a clear rethink and to consider that its products are aimed at grown-up women.

While it might get away with using this language in its advertising social media is a two way street.

What does it do next?