Tyndale Winner! And please help me think through something.

by Kristen on January 17, 2014 · 57 comments

in Ask The Readers

Random.org chose commenter 13, Teri, as the winner.

RANDOM.ORG - True Random Number Service - Mozilla Firefox 1172014 64545 AM

By the way, winners for the giveaways here are always randomly chosen…I don’t choose comments based on merit, as that would be unfair and also way too hard for me.

Congrats, Teri! I hope you love your Kindle from Tyndale. ;)

Tyndale Rewards

Also, just as a reminder: if you sign up for Tyndale Rewards using the links I’ve shared, you automatically get 25 points to start you out.

Edit! I watched a bunch of the Axe commercials on the interwebs, and though I’m not sure how many of them were U.S. commercials, I thought they were on the inappropriate side of things. Like, it would have been super awkward to watch them with my kids around.

So, though I could talk myself into saying yes to this sponsored post offer, I think I’m gonna say no. Illogical though it may be, I feel ok buying Axe occasionally, but feel uncomfortable actively promoting it on my blog. (Although I do realize that to a degree, I’ve done that by writing this post at all! Ah well…what’s done is done.)

Ok, so. There’s something I’m trying to think through, and a lot of times, I figure things out better by typing them, so bear with me.

You know how companies* occasionally pay me to share coupons with you?

(Like Suave, which I am happy to share because I buy Suave all the time!)

*It’s usually a PR company that hires me, not the company itself.)

Well, I try to think really carefully before I accept any of these opportunities, and there’s one before me that I’m torn on.

It’s a coupon for Axe hair products.


Now, I do sometimes buy Axe stuff for Mr. FG. It’s a bit on the expensive side, but I do sometimes find it on the clearance rack at Target (they discount the multipacks and such) and it also goes on sale, so sometimes I splurge and buy it, because it smells really good.

The Suave men’s stuff is also good (and so affordable), but it’s not quite as awesome-smelling as the Axe.

I think what I’ve seen of Axe’s marketing (all I’ve seen is the bottles and the store displays) are a little silly…like, why is it necessary to call a body scrubber a “body detailer”? As though men’s bodies are cars or something.

And though it is totally true that smells are important to women, I think it’s a little ridiculous to assume that using a particular brand of bodywash will make you a girl magnet (it takes more than good smells, I’d say.)

None of these things have bothered me, terribly, though…I like the way Axe smells, and that’s why I buy it.

This morning I was researching the brand, though, and it appears that Axe has some kind of not-awesome TV commercials, which I’ve never seen (a blessed side effect of rarely watching TV is that you don’t see commercials!)

So, I’m unsure of what to do. Do I not share this coupon with you because of that? Do I not buy Axe because of that?

Axe is owned by Unilever. And so is Dove. And so is Suave.

I’m certainly not going to stop buying Suave. And even though I don’t totally agree with Dove’s marketing (I think beauty doesn’t come from the outside, and that your self-esteem shouldn’t be dependent on thinking that you are outwardly beautiful), that doesn’t stop me from buying Dove products when they are on sale/clearance.

So, I do give money to Unilever, and I don’t really see that stopping.

I don’t know…it’s so hard to know what to do. I do know that I’m never going to be able to spend my money in ways the perfectly reflect my values, though. That’s just impossible. I’d have to become a homesteader or something to avoid supporting all companies that have some aspect I disagree with.

(For instance, some eco-friendly companies have philosophies that are vastly different and contradictory to my own.)

I mean, if the product itself is in question, it’s easier (for instance, I feel like I am clearly not supposed to buy Kleenex disposable hand towels and I would never promote that product on my blog).

But when it’s a more vague question about the company’s standards or ethics, things get muddier.

I also know that I’m not going to be able to run my blog in a totally perfect way, hard as I might try. And to only promote the sort of stuff I’d use if I lived the pie-in-the-sky homesteader life would be a little ridiculous, because I don’t live that life.

The fact of the matter is that we sometimes go to Panera even though it would be cheaper to eat at home.

I sometimes pick up takeout pizza even though homemade pizza is cheaper even than frozen pizza.

I use shampoo instead of apple cider vinegar (which would be the morally impeccable choice.)

I liked getting a gift card for Starbucks at Coinstar instead of rolling my coins (and there was no fee if I chose a giftcard, so yay!)

I dunno. I typed all this out and I’m still not sure what I think.

So, talk to me. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Leave a Comment

{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Stacey January 17, 2014 at 12:25 pm


This is a sticky wicket. But I would say if the commercials bothered you enough to stop buying the product for Mr. FG then you should not post the coupon info. If you are still willing to buy the product then go ahead and post it. If as individuals we had to like every thing about every company we purchased from we would never buy anything.

P.S. Since I gave up cable I miss most commercials too and I can not say I miss them.


2 Kristen January 17, 2014 at 1:14 pm

I suppose I should actually watch some of the commercials…I could dig them up on the internets, I’m sure. I’ve just read/heard secondhand that they’re offensive, and if I watch them myself, I could form a better opinion.


3 MelissaZ January 17, 2014 at 1:25 pm

I wouldn’t waste the time watching the commercials. I haven’t seen one for a bit, but I remember them more ridiculous than anything else. Like you said, it takes more than smelling good to be attrative.


4 WilliamB January 18, 2014 at 9:55 am

If you’re going to base your judgments on the advertisements, but you don’t see the ads yourself, then you’re not using your own judgment – you’re using the judgment of the person(s) who told about the ad. So my thought is that you should see the ad yourself.

If you don’t want to do that, then you need to think thoroughly about the judgment of the person who told you about the ad – how has his/her judgment proved to be in the past? Have you agreed on previous, related subjects? Is this a topic you talk about a lot and so know each other’s biases (we all have them) and preferences?


5 Sloan January 17, 2014 at 12:33 pm

I guess the question for me is will you continue to buy Axe body wash and things like that? If you do, then I’d say go ahead, but if you won’t, then I wouldn’t. But I guess that’s maybe the question you’re asking yourself.


6 WB January 17, 2014 at 12:50 pm

I can’t help with your problem but I have to mention that as someone who is very sensitive to perfumes, the Axe products are some of the most offensive out there.

Fortunately, I don’t have to work in an office closely with others, but if I did, I’d probably have headaches every day from all the scented products. People use scented shampoo, scented body soap, scented laundry soap, scented dryer sheets, scented hair spray/gel, scented deodorant, and then top it off with perfume. After all that, does one smell like Lemon-Fresh detergent or Mountain-Spring body wash?

I’m not saying that scented products should be banned (although sometimes I sure wish they were) but for the office at least, it’s nice to consider less as more.


7 EcoCatLady January 17, 2014 at 3:04 pm

WB – your comment made me smile. All I can think of when I see a commercial for those Axe products is how their “manly” fragrances are full of estrogen mimicking chemicals. Oh… the ironies of modern life!


8 Amie January 19, 2014 at 7:04 pm

I can’t stand the smell either. It’s too overpowering. I’ve noticed since I switched to scent free detergent for my laundry, it makes huge difference. I’m more sensitive to fragrances. I tend to use a gentle lavender or vanilla in perfume (when I wear it) and bodywash. I use lavender dish soap. I do have lavender and peppermint essential oils, I use in cleaning. Axe has always made me gag though. I don’t use softener. I also line dry or use dry racks.


9 Elizabeth L. January 17, 2014 at 12:53 pm

I try to think of things like this in terms of usefulness. “Is this coupon/giveaway/product review/etc useful to my readers?” “Will my readers be interested enough to print the coupon/enter the giveaway/like the facebook page/etc?”

If the answer is yes, then I say post it. But if the answer is no, then don’t. This is very black and white and very easy when it comes to things like pay day loans or gambling. It’s a lot harder when it gets gray or when you feel your morals are in jeopardy.

If you continue buying the products, knowing what you know now, I don’t think there is anything wrong with posting the coupon, even if you might get some negative feedback. If you decide to not buy the product anymore, there may be people who don’t care (like me) and buy things they like (or are on sale/have a coupon for) despite advertising (or lack thereof). So posting the coupon would be beneficial to some. If you truly feel that you are harming your readers by taking money from a company you actively do not support, then obviously, you should follow your heart and turn down the promotion.

So I guess my food for thought is “is this coupon/promotion harmful or beneficial to the majority of my readers?”.


10 Diane C January 17, 2014 at 12:57 pm

This story won’t help you decide, but I want to share it with you anyway, hee!
When DH and I began dating, he would always turn up freshly showered and crisply dressed. He looked so handsome, but I *hated* the smell of his freshly applied deodorant. After about the third date, I mustered up my courage and asked him if he would mind changing brands. He was so sweet about it and suggested we shop together for something that smelled better. Happily, this sweet, considerate man is now my husband. The brand? You guessed it, Axe. Don’t know why, but the smell gives me an instant headache.
As to your decision, I trust your judgement completely. Do what you need to do to justify the time you spend working on this wonderful blog.


11 Kristen January 17, 2014 at 1:57 pm

Ok, that’s hilarious! For him, the product didn’t work as advertised. =P


12 Diane C January 17, 2014 at 9:11 pm

I probably should have mentioned that I don’t think I’ve never seen an ad for this product… I just couldn’t stand the smell.

OTOH, he did get the girl!


13 Diane C January 17, 2014 at 9:12 pm

Whoops! Sorry for the double negative – proofreader’s error!
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen…”


14 Robin January 17, 2014 at 1:21 pm

I dunno – for not being sure about whether or not to offer them your support – you’ve already given them a huge plug by mentioning them on your Blog.


15 Kristen January 17, 2014 at 1:56 pm

Heh. That is true. But I couldn’t very well do this brain dump in an informative way without keeping the brand a secret!


16 Emily M January 17, 2014 at 5:04 pm

I kind of thought the same thing, Robin. Something I thought about the other day – this made me think about some of the things you review. Eg – A frozen pizza review comes to mind??? The disclaimer at the bottom says something like, “PS – they didn’t pay me to write this, and I’d ask for much more than a free product if they did!”. My immediate thought is always – well, in essence you’re cheaper than you say, because you did exactly what they wanted you to (dedicate a full post to them) after only offering you a free product! Now, you know I lervity lerve my Frugal Girl blog, so please don’t take this the wrong way! My point is just that, well if you’re going to advertise at all – whether it be through reviewing something or a link to it like you mention above, I support you getting paid, sister! Now sometimes when you review something, yes, of course you want to not have the money cloud your judgement or your readers’ trust, but for a frozen pizza? Your readers are hopefully smart enough – thanks to your insight ;) – to know not to buy something stupid that they don’t need, provided you still include the disclaimer about how much they paid or whatever. It’s such a hard thing to navigate I know, but I would play harder ball if I were you. ;)


17 Kristen January 17, 2014 at 5:23 pm

Oh, no offense taken at all. And you’re right…I’m pretty much over the whole writing a blog post in exchange for free pizza thing (although if I remember correctly, what I was trying to say is that my opinion couldn’t be bought with a free pizza! Apparently my blog content could, though. Heh.)


18 Emily January 17, 2014 at 6:38 pm

Ah, sorry for putting words into your mouth! I really admire you for asking this question and being open to comments. It’s such a tough one in our day and age, with companies ‘sponsoring’ everything in every medium. I agree with the others that say you should trust your gut and do whatever feels honest and genuine to you. That is what has made your blog so popular and therefore in this predicament of considering these offers :).

19 MelissaZ January 17, 2014 at 1:21 pm

I personally only avoid the brands where the advertising is truly horrendous. If the advertising is annoying, but not offensive, I don’t really take that into consideration when making purchasing decisions.

I figure that every company probably does *something* that I don’t like. And since I’m not going to go off the grid & homestead, I just have to live with the fact that companies spend money on yucky advertising (which I try to ignore as much as possible).

Summary: Do the giveaway. The advertisement’s are not at the level where it’s an automatic no, you are likely to buy the product in the future if it’s on sale, and there are plenty of other people it would benefit (and most tune out the advertising anyway). It is not morally wrong for you to do the giveaway.


20 Tammy January 17, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Have you ever read Buyology and Brandwashed? (if not, I know you would love them). I can’t remember which book talks specifically about Axe but in one of the books, the author talks about how it is a product geared toward young men and advertised especially to indicate they will be a girl magnet if they use it (and use it liberally – which is why many teen boys reek when they use this brand! LOL).

I can’t say what you should or shouldn’t do. I don’t do advertising on my blog so decisions like these aren’t ones I need to make. I wouldn’t really think twice about you offering Axe coupons though.

And I’m totally with you on the Kleenex towels! I just think, “WHY?” and another product I definitely do NOT need is an automatic soap pump for my home bathroom. Even if germs *are* on the soap handle, are you not washing your hands? LOL


21 Tamara January 17, 2014 at 6:47 pm

This made me laugh. Do you think maybe teen boys are their target market because the poor things reek either way? (If you had or have been around teen boys, you know exactly what I mean! :-) )


22 Tammy January 18, 2014 at 7:14 pm

LOL Poor teen boys. ;)


23 Ceri January 17, 2014 at 2:01 pm

I think you should definitely listen to the Holy Spirit. If this is something that you are being convicted of then you shouldn’t do it. I hope this helps. God Bless!


24 Suzanne January 17, 2014 at 2:45 pm

I agree. It does seem as if you are convicted about this decision. Usually when I am convicted but want to do something anyway, I try to justify it any way I can!


25 Barb January 17, 2014 at 2:37 pm

To me the adds are more idiotic than offensive (as are many, including the Geico commercials and Toyota commercials). I have TV but I rarely watch commercials because EVERYTHING is DVRD.

That said, you might hop over to Utube to view a few of them yourself in full and see what you think??


26 cp January 17, 2014 at 3:10 pm

I have no idea what the commercials for Axe are like, but since you said they don’t keep you from purchasing Axe products or other products from the same company, then I don’t think you have a dilemma. Go ahead and promote the product. We all draw the lines in different places for what we consider frugal, moral, eco-freindly, or whatever the topic is. Your readers are responsible for their own decisions.


27 RuthS January 17, 2014 at 5:27 pm

I read through the previous comments, and no one appears to have said this, so I’m adding my .02.

There are 9,999,999 deal blogs in the world. They post thousands of coupons a day. So if I wanted a coupon for Axe, I think there’s probably a site that has one. But, what I appreciate about your site are the practical frugal things you post that have nothing to do with deals/coupons. (I don’t mind when you post them occasionally–it’s your blog and you can post anything you like!) But I think that you have a nice niche that doesn’t require coupon postings, especially ones that you have any doubts about posting!


28 JS Hess January 18, 2014 at 7:10 pm

I agree with you, RuthS! Great points. Although, Kristen, what you decide wouldn’t bother me either way (and sounds like most readers agree).


29 Gina January 17, 2014 at 5:50 pm

My boys get Axe at Christmas and it’s a running joke – they don’t like the stuff. But if you and Hubby do, by all means keep buying it and don’t worry about the ads. Go with your gut. An ad on TV never convinces me to buy or not buy. I guess if I felt strongly about a company’s politics or ethics, then yeah, that would guide my wallet. I do love me some clean smelling Hubby, but we can get that smell with about a billion other products, too. So…yeah. Go with your gut. Did I already say that? (:


30 Mara January 17, 2014 at 6:57 pm

I have to say, I like the axe commercials. They are beyond silly. And if they get boys/young men interested in washing then that is a bonus.


31 Kristen January 17, 2014 at 7:09 pm

Hee. This is funny.

Although interestingly enough, the two people most like to shower frequently at my house are the two that aren’t girls! Go figure.


32 A reader January 17, 2014 at 7:32 pm

The AXE marketing team is directly responsible for the brand image. If you partner with them in their PR efforts, your blog is part of their messaging effort and implicitly supports the values presented by the brand.

Watch the commmercials. If you disagree with them, decline to post the coupon and tell the PR company why. Offensive advertising exists because it is profitable. If the marketing team decides it is costing them too much market share, it will be cut.

IMO using your public blog to promote the brand image is much, much different than buying the product (on clearance!) in your private life.


33 Brandi January 17, 2014 at 9:37 pm

Maybe I’m an odd duck but advertising has to be really offensive before I sit up and notice. After all, this is just one piece of a big picture. I worry more about how they treat their employees, their environmental footprint and their charitable contributions. For example, I support Aldi because I feel like the company is a good corporate citizen of the world and I wouldn’t care if their advertising is out there. If you like the product and feel your readers could benefit it’s perfectly fine to post it. If you are truly uncomfortable with the company and their product then you should follow your gut. It’s all good. :-)


34 Amy b. January 18, 2014 at 6:52 am

I applaud you for saying no! My husband used to buy axe occasionally but after their commercials became ridiculously inappropriate we stopped buying it. We know not every company is going to share our values but when a company so blatantly promotes promiscuity and premarital sex we draw the line. Sex is everywhere these days so its not like we expect to shield our son from all the lewd material out there but we can at least make a conscience effort not to support it. I also believe that as a Christian, even if your blog is not targeted to a Christian audience, you need to remain faithful to God’s standards in order to be a witness in this world. It can be difficult to give up “good opportunities” at times but God is faithful to those who trust in Him.


35 Katy (France) January 18, 2014 at 7:13 am

I’m personally not offended by the Axe ads, they make me laugh! I don’t think anybody actually believes that their deodorant will attract women in the crazy way that the ads suggest!
As for putting this on your blog, I’m with those who say you should wonder if it is relevant to your blog and if your readers will use the coupon.
Apparently not a lot of people leaving comments like Axe, so I’d say probably not in your demographic..!


36 Jacqueline January 18, 2014 at 8:16 am

Life has become SO complicated with our global economy and all the layers of large corporations. There usually isn’t a 100% satisfactory answer, unfortunately. I’m dealing with something similar (at least the principle of it is similar), and I guess the best we can do is be well-informed, pray, and then make a decision, while keeping in mind that it might change down the road if given we’re given new insights, new information, or a different situation.
The only other aspect that might play in here for you is the question: Is this a product you want to be associated with as an “advertiser”? You promoting a product on the blog is going a step further than purchasing it for yourself.
Oh, how hard it is to be consistent and true to our values! I appreciate your intentionality and transparency, regardless of what you decide to do.


37 Beth in TX January 18, 2014 at 8:32 am

I’m going to take a different tactic – you are The Frugal Girl. Does a coupon help you buy a product? Yes. But otoh, is it an over-priced product to begin with? Yes. Does the coupon help enough? I don’t know. A story within a story – I have a child very sensitive to fake stuff in food. And you don’t know how much fake stuff is in food until you have a child like this. Don’t have the time to make bread? I’ll just buy X brand at the store. Then you find out that X brand has preservatives in that aren’t on the label because they are added to the ingredients that are bought by X and since X didn’t add them, then X doesn’t have to put them on the label according to the FDA. So once we eliminated all the fake stuff in his food, I noticed he reacted to fake smells. As in cleaning solutions. As in Axe (which his older brothers LOVE). Not like sneezing or a headache but tantrums. Tantrums in a child too old to have tantrums. So now I make my cleaning solutions. And I am not a “make it all” kind of mom. I’m just not. But my cleaning solutions take me maybe 5 minutes to make and are WAY more frugal. Essential oils are expensive but a little goes a long way because they are essential – the pure stuff. You could make some of your toiletries for much cheaper. It would be more frugal. ;-) Just a different slant.


38 Amie January 19, 2014 at 7:23 pm

I’ve been working on more natural cleaning. I try to cook from scratch as much as possible, but life gets hectic. I’ve noticed there is so many additives in food …that wasn’t there 10 years ago. We are seeing so many allergies and health issues. It makes me wonder what all is being added. There are so many conveniences, that really aren’t that convenient in the long run. What natural cleaners do you use…??


39 Diane January 18, 2014 at 8:44 am

Life is life and living perfectly is not what we are here to do. Being conscious is another thing and when you are conscious you live accordingly to your values where you can, but that doesn’t mean you reject everything else. I am extremely thrifty and yet, I do buy some products from socially and environmentally unacceptable companies because the items are ones I need, like Suave, for the best value.

We are often too hard on ourselves once we become frugal. I say it’s OK to lighten up.


40 SheB January 18, 2014 at 10:40 am

Kristen, I was wonder what recipe you use to frost your not from a box cake? Is it the same frosting you use for your sugar cookies? I’ve been searching but can’t find it


41 Kristen January 18, 2014 at 10:41 am

You know, I’m not sure I ever posted it here! But Lisey and I posted it over on her blog: http://www.bakingwithlisey.com/buttercream-frosting/


42 SheB January 18, 2014 at 11:26 am

Thank you so much! I’m making this today!


43 Jen D. January 18, 2014 at 1:45 pm

I’m glad you’re asking this question! It’s a really important issue to me, mainly because of my concern for how Axe and other advertisers promote objectification of women. I think it’s wise to be true to your values, whenever possible. You’ve made a case that it is sometimes better to purchasing fewer quality products that last longer (and can sometimes cost a little more) and don’t come from overseas sweat shops are more important than many cheap new clothes. You are being true to your values of treating humans with dignity and respect, and of being a responsible consumer and steward of the world and your finances. Yes, there is a cost to this decision to stick to your values. I see this choice as somewhat similar.

Axe has historically advertised in ways that are objectifying or demeaning to women. The website about-face.org is a great resource that points out products and advertisers that do this (Carl’s Jr. is another company I’ll never support) and includes great questions you can use to educate children and adults in order to help them be discerning/aware. As a former teacher, now mom to a baby boy, I think, “What example do I want to set for my students? What examples do I want my son to learn about women and his relationship to them?” Axe crosses a line to me, repeatedly. I’d rather pay a little more money for a product that is marketed in a way that “respects women” (and men – let’s be honest, for men who have integrity these ads are also insulting) than save gobs of money supporting a product that, at best inhibits respect, at worst fosters it. Here’s what about-face has to say about the latest Axe commercial – http://www.about-face.org/gallery_offender/axe-office-love-commercial/ – which is regularly in their top ten gallery of offenders. The heartbreaking difficulty of this decision is that there’s so much out there that violates this “respect of women” value. But I believe small steps are worth it. Especially because subtle views (like those portrayed in the Axe commercial) contribute to a larger endemic of viewing women as sexual objects to be used for gratification, which very often leads to viewing them as property. Considering that sex trafficking is still a major world-wide issue, and even still a problem in the US, it seems wise to me to do our best to not support any product that has been advertised in ways that don’t portray women respectfully. My sister works with trafficked women who have been sold into prostitution at young ages. It’s heartbreaking and I’ve become a little more aware about all the ways media contributes to a collective view of women as a result of her experiences.

In any case, I’m not suggesting that posting an Axe coupon on your site will contribute to the trafficking of women in the US or otherwise. I’m just encouraging you to hold fast to your values even if it seems like an insignificant or nit-picky concern initially. Very often these little things have deeper, larger roots. Again, thanks for considering this issue!


44 Amanda January 19, 2014 at 5:11 pm

I agree with you. In Australia, the product is called Lynx and runs similar ads. I can’t stand the way they objectify women. It’s a banned product in our house.


45 Jan Elizabeth February 15, 2014 at 2:02 pm

Wow, just watched that – pretty awful! My son wore Axe for a few years, as did all of his friends. I remember having the discussion numerous times with him about the demeaning messages behind the ads. Axe also used to advertise a camp, “Axe Camp”, that we said should have been called “Sex Camp”. Teenagers coming together for a summer camp with nothing more in common but the fact that they wore Axe?? It was just something to do to seem cool, but I couldn’t imagine letting kids go there and be influenced in that way.
All that being said, I think the fact that you initiated a discussion on this topic is fabulous! Keep doing what you do best – getting us to put some thought into how we can effectively live according to our values, seamlessly in today’s world.


46 Ranee January 18, 2014 at 3:34 pm

In a perfect world none of us would be subjected to advertisement. Unfortunately it is everywhere we go. My husband and I seem to have the same reaction to most advertisements….ie) that sure was a long way to go for that (whatever the item was??) or we look at each other with shocked looks and say, ” what the h#** are you watching??” Most of the time we have no idea what they are advertising for – in an effort to be unique, they jazz them up so much, we miss the point. Heh. As far as blogs go and advertising, I am only interested in the post of the writer – ads are mostly ignored. Just my $.02′s.


47 Cindy January 18, 2014 at 4:20 pm

I hear you! re: trying to do the right thing all the time. It’s too hard. Clearly you are a thoughtful, intelligent woman. I like to think that I am too and I too try hard to make good choices for myself, my family and for my environment. Sometimes I fall off the rails but mostly I do pretty well (in my estimation) and I think you can say the same thing. It’s nice to hear another voice (yours) engaged in the same dilemma that I find myself in from time to time. And, of course, as you are “out there” with your blog there is more pressure on you. I t hink you did a public service by expressing yourself regarding the Axe products as well as ‘confessing’ your occasional fall from grace, ie buying take out pizza. Wicked woman.


48 Diann January 18, 2014 at 11:07 pm

My take is that as long as you like a product enough to purchase it, you’re well within the right to post a coupon. If you dislike their commercials, put legs on your disapproval and write a letter to the company. You should watch some if them first so you can form your own oppinion. That should also help you make a decision as to whether you do want to continue using the products. I have found that companies are surprisingly willing to listen to what consumers have to say when they take the trouble to write in. With one exception, I have always heard back when I’ve written or emailed a company about a product. Not only that, often, I’ve been the recipient of either free product in the mail, or coupins for free product, which is really nice.


49 Kathleen Griffy January 18, 2014 at 11:16 pm

I would suggest that you pick your wars. Absolutes are hard positions to back down from without looking wishy-washy. Take out pizza from time to time is not a crime when you have a hard week or a time crunch or you are simply tired.
The Unilever question is a multi-headed snake, though. On one hand you like and use their products and have no problems with their PR until the AXE commercials come along, then it becomes a moral choice.
I had to choose whether or not to keep going to Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s fast food for a hamburger now & then because of the objectionable way they portray women and their food. I wrote my concerns to the company and was told that their demographic target is “hungry young guys” which told me that they didn’t care about the opinion of a woman, grandmother, mother, family oriented or any other kind of person besides their target demographic.
Guess who doesn’t eat there ever. Guess who tells all her family and friends exactly why. Their commercials are terrible and equate women with food and it’s sick. I have gotten to the point that I record all the shows I watch so I can fast forward through the commercials and not be exposed to them, however, not everyone does that and are getting desensitized to trash on a daily basis as a result. It’s sad.


50 Maggs January 19, 2014 at 4:07 am

Hi there. I am from the UK and so have never seen the adverts (or commercials as you all them in the US). However, in reading your blog I would say you seem a rational and fair individual who trusts the judgement of your followers . You are obviously not totally offended by Axe’s marketing strategy or you wouldn’t be having this dilemma. Therefore, I would say post the coupons and let individuals decide for themselves – regards from the UK!


51 Ani Mia January 19, 2014 at 10:25 am

I guess I think the Axe commercials are silly and a little offensive- but mostly unintelligent. However, I do disagree with you about the Dove marketing. While I don’t that self esteem should come from how we look, we are visual people. I think that for the most part Dove positively promotes that beauty and confidence doesn’t come from being a size 0- that all of us possess inner and exterior beauty. Not meaning to rant, but I think for the industry their marketing, and I do understand that is what it is, is some of the more positive to be found out there.


52 Randi January 19, 2014 at 2:47 pm

Ive said this before, but I don’t agree with you on the Kleanex hand towels. I only use them when I have guests over. I don’t think my party guests want to share a hand towel( especially during flu season).


53 Rachel January 19, 2014 at 5:13 pm

Kristen, I’ve been reading your blog for a long time and I really appreciate how you are forthright in sharing what your values are.

My take on this issue is that there are millions of products and brands out there, all with their own brand promise and marketing schemes and sense of corporate responsibility. If you feel conflicted about promoting one on your blog because it doesn’t align with your values, pass on it… and wait for one that you do feel good about promoting.


54 Shana January 19, 2014 at 10:52 pm

I’m probably chiming in late on this one – Kristen, your blog clearly gets plenty of traffic and you don’t need to post a “free” coupon for a product to get more hits. Especially when I or anyone else could easily get an Axe coupon from their website or whatever. And. . . as far as branding goes – how does this enhance the whole “Frugal Girl” thing 0ther than the discounted coupon.

By your own admission – you rarely use coupons. It could be seen as potentially disingenuous. And you know that I love you and don’t mean that in a snarky way. xxoo


55 Mallory January 20, 2014 at 7:26 am

Coupons are everywhere on te Internet, I wouldn’t worry about passing this one up. Plus, it would save your readers what–between fifty cents to maybe five dollars, but then maybe they would go to their website and see the strange ads. One of the things I like about your blog is that it isn’t half advertisements and I think it’s wonderful that you say no to so many. Sometimes our lives as readers are just more enriched by wholesome content than saving a few bucks. And if someone wants an axe coupon, they could probably just google it and grab one. If anything makes you morally squeamish, it’s probably good to pass up.


56 angela January 20, 2014 at 6:33 pm

My theory on these subjects is simple. If something in the back of your brain immediately stops you from saying “yes” then your answer should be “no”.

Sort of like when a man asks a woman to marry him. If she says “Let me think about it…”, then her answer should be “no” because that means something is wrong with the relationship that she’s afraid will cause problems in the future.

I might have over-simplified the situation but, I see things in black & white…rarely gray….and I mean….rarely…like dinosaur rare.


57 Mrs. R. January 20, 2014 at 8:32 pm

We stopped buying Unilever products several years ago when we discovered they’re big donors to Planned Parenthood.


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