An animal rights organization is using sex to sell activism and for once it isn't PETA.
A local print flyer delivered to residents in Burleigh Heads, Australia, from a local beauty shop asks "What's New Pussycat?" and depicts a cat… placed strategically between the spread legs of a scantily-clad woman.
It's an ad that's drawing controversy (the good kind) and controversy (the bad kind). And for one brand, it's not the first time this has happened.
The ad, from the Recreate Yourself Hair and Beauty Salon, states that for every wax service, the salon will donate $1 to the Animal Welfare League (AWL).
As should have been expected, some have reacted poorly to the ad. The salon owners have defended the ad and, for its part, the AWL has publicly embraced it.
On its Facebook page, the salon posted a picture of the controversial ad in the paper and commented: "Just had a phone call from a lady who works at the Animal Welfare League to say that she loves the flyer and its amazingly done, she also said thanks to the team and our clients for raising money for their cause! book in today and we'll donate $1 from every wax to the AWL. They need the money and you prob need the wax)"
But the real controversy may not be what the ad suggests, but that it's been done before, almost exactly.
As several media outlets, including the Brisbane Times, have pointed out, the Recreate Yourself ad is nearly identical in message to a 2009 version from Singapore for the Cat Welfare Societ which stated "Add a temporary bowtie tattoo to your Braziian wax and we donate $1 to the Cat Welfare Society."
The Recreate Yourself salon owners denied ever having seen the Singapore ad, yet both carry the "What's New Pussycat?" tagline.
The Singapore version was even more risque. For the "ministry of waxing" salon "Strip," the 2009 versionincluded plush cat dolls.
Strip, which has locations around the globe, including London, New York and Shanghai, ran a gutsy ad in 2008 to note the transition of presidents. With titles like "Bye Bye Bush," "No More Bush" and "Life Will be Better Without Bush" the November 2008 campaign celebrated the end of the George Bush administration with waxing discounts.
Notably, a month later in January 2009, America's Bliss spa chain announced a similar "Farewell to Bush" waxing promotion.