Dove nixes ‘Armpit of America’ billboard in N.J.

NEW YORK — Dove is learning the hard way that New Jersey residents don’t appreciate being referred to as “The Armpit of America.”

Unilever, the brand’s parent company, says it no longer plans to run a billboard featuring the well-known dig at the Garden State. The ad was intended to promote a new line of deodorants by encouraging people to see armpits in a more positive light.

The text of the ad read, “Dear New Jersey, When people call you ‘The Armpit of America,’ take it as a compliment. Sincerely, Dove.” It featured a smiling woman in a white tank top raising an arm behind her head to expose an armpit.

Dove is known for its unconventional ads, including a campaign that celebrates “Real Beauty” by featuring women who don’t look like the typical models featured in most other ads. But the latest campaign apparently hit the wrong nerve with New Jersey residents.

The news of the billboard, which was set to run in July, sparked complaints after the New York Times published a story about it last week.

“We take feedback from our community very seriously and have decided that we will not be running this billboard advertisement,” Unilever said in an emailed statement Tuesday. “We did not wish to cause any misunderstanding and apologize for any offense.”

The statement said the intention was to call attention “to the fact that armpits can and should be considered beautiful.” It said women should accept that as “something that is okay.”

The company said it will instead donate the space on the billboard to a charity. A representative for Unilever said the company would work with its foundation to identify a charity.

Unilever’s U.S. headquarters are based in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

More in Herald Business Journal

Snohomish County’s campaign to land the 797 takes off

Executive Dave Somers announced the formation of a task force to urge Boeing to build the plane here.

A decade after the recession, pain and fear linger

No matter how good things are now, it’s impossible to forget how the collapse affected people.

Panel: Motorcycle industry in deep trouble and needs help

They have failed to increase sales by making new riders out of women, minorities and millennials.

Costco rises as results display big-box retailer’s resiliency

Their model has worked in the face of heightened competition from online, brick-and-mortar peers.

For modern women, 98-year-old rejection letters still sting

In a stark new video, female Boeing engineers break the silence about past inopportunity.

Tax reform needs the public’s input on spending priorities

The GOP tax plan is a good idea, but the next step should give us a voice on how taxes are spent.

Commentary: GM, Boeing fight a war of words over Mars

Boeing is strongly signaling how crucial deep-space exploration is to its future.

Under cloud of ethics probes, Airbus CEO Enders to step down

He leaves in 2019 after 14 years. Meanwhile, aircraft division CEO Fabrice Bregier leaves in February.

$4.99 sandwich promotion irks some Subway business owners

Management insists that “most franchisees support the promotion.”

Most Read