No Comment: Axe Body Wash Will “Scrub Away the Skank”

When Ms. received this Axe ad in the mail, I was about to disregard it as a stupid but not overtly sexist piece of advertising–until I read the tagline for the last, pumpkin-orange body wash: “Scrub away the skank with Snake Peel.”


I noticed a website address scribbled on the body of the man in the third storyboard. So I visited and found The Fixer Show, a faux-talk show made by Axe and dedicated, apparently, to advice for men. Each of The Fixer’s five segments corresponds to a new Axe body wash. In the Snake Peel segment, I learned that “questionable hookups” whom you might wish to “scrub away” include: “the geriatric, the bedridden, the lazy eye, the girl that has way more muscles than you, which is sexy only until she has you pinned down and she’s asking you to call her Frank …” And more! For three minutes! Thanks, Axe. You sure know how to make a girl feel special.

Got something skanky to get off your chest? Email Axe or call 1-800-450-7580.

This ad appeared in the April 29, 2010 issue of Rolling Stone. Thanks to Isabella for sending it in.


  1. sexist AND homophobic! way to go!

  2. Here's what I wrote:

    Dear Axe:

    I recently read about one of your ads that encourages consumers to 'wash the skank away' with your body wash.

    What a horrible, sexist ad. The word 'skank' is incredibly derogatory to women, and perpetuates our culture's sexist and misogynistic attitudes towards women that ultimately lead to social problems like rape and child molestation. Also, the phrase implies that it's a regular and accepted practice for boys and men to bed women from whom they only want sex, that they have no attachment to whatsoever, and that they may even have contempt for. How is a woman with a lazy eye a 'skank?' How do you not see how hateful and derogatory your language is, and what wrong message it sends to your customers? Please, hold men to a higher standard. Your ad implies that they are all horny troglodytes who have no control over their sexual urges, and for whom woman are nothing but a source of sexual pleasure.

    The following article…:

    …demonstrates how seriously your advertising can be taken by your customers. You have a duty and a responsibility to first apologize for your hateful ad, and to remedy it at once. I hope you get many, many letters that say the same thing. Can't you find a way to sell your product without resorting to creulty?

    Thanks for your time.

  3. The email link doesn't work. Try this webpage instead:

  4. Magoonski says:

    Pff, those guys should just be thankful they got laid at all. Those women probably slept with him out of pity.

  5. Wow!

  6. weird- i used to work at the ad agency that represents Axe, the team was made up of gay men.

  7. That truly is revolting!!

  8. I just got a "delivery failed" on the email I sent to axe–the email I sent to was, but the delivery failed message said it could not be delivered to–any ideas?

  9. Whoa – step back to, I don't know, 1963?? Or somewhere in that time frame? Pathetic. I filled out the feedback form & congratulated them on their success in offending just about everyone except adolescent males with IQ's less than 85.

  10. what's more of a concern, that Axe created this ad or that it works? Also in paying lip service to it are we feeding this problem?

  11. Thanks for posting this; it inspired a long-overdue satirical blog post about Axe:

  12. LOL, Curtis!!!

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