Wednesday, 10 November 2010

LETTERS - Alisdair says "Swiffer Ain't Sexy!"

Response from P & G
Alisdair received a letter on Monday from P & G (also known as Proctor & Gamble Inc.) For a moment or two we were trying to figure out what it was all about. Then we remembered!

Back in July, while staying with Granny and Grandpa and attending Sci-Fi Camp, Alisdair was watching television. A commercial for swiffer mops was aired. In the advertisement, a woman is using a new green Swiffer mop. She likes it so much she takes her old broom outside and props it up near the fence by the garage. Then music plays asking "Who's that sexy lady?" and the rejected broom moves suggestively with a flamingo on the lawn next door. For readers that can't recall seeing this commercial, a video is posted below:

Alisdair felt uncomfortable when they used the word "sexy" and wrote a complaint letter to the company... and Grandma mailed it.

I never saw the letter he sent to P & G but their response (dated October 18. 2010) was as follows:

"Dear Alisdair Ramsay-Mackenzie:

We rely heavily on consumer comments regarding our advertisements, and feedback like yours will help us decide how to approach future advertising efforts.

Please be assured I'm letting our marketing team know how you feel.  Thanks again for writing.


Swiffer Team"

The strangest thing about this whole episode was that the letterhead gives a Post Office Box number in Toronto, Ontario as the return address.  Then, on the corner of the envelope, it says "The P & G Distributing Company, Consumer Relations" and gives a postal box number in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Finally, instead of a stamp, the letter had a Second Class Royal Mail postage sticker with the words "Match Returns X, P O Box 264, EGHAM TW20 2AF and Postage Paid GB."

And so -- if we were going to reply to this letter (which we don't plan to do) -- which address would we use?  Alisdair says he originally used an address in Brampton, Ontario that he found online at which was advertised in regard to the Swiffer Money-Back Guarantee!

Mysterious envelope from the USA and Great Britain
If that wasn't puzzling enough - the reply Alisdair received was incorrectly addressed to Box 21 instead of the proper Box 2.  We thought the temporary worker, at our local Canada Post outlet, was really on top of things and correctly placed it in our box, despite the wrong address.  However, yesterday, while at the library picking up inter-library loan items we had ordered, another patron was standing at the counter checking books out.  He asked me, "Did you get a letter addressed to Box 21?"  I replied that yes, as a matter of fact, we had.  Mr. Thurlow then told me that was actually HIS box number and he had taken the improperly delivered mysterious letter back into the post office and given it to the worker and asked her to put it in the right slot.

Am I confused yet??.... just a little!  Better go clean my floor while I try to figure this conundrum out!


  1. Are you going to clean your floor with a Swiffer? Try not to be too sexy while mopping! lol

  2. This is a great story. I've written a few letters of 'complaint' to manufacturers. I believe in the power of complaining when it is a legitimate concern. Usually they send a reply something like you received, often a coupon for a free product. About ten years ago a group of women engineers, including me, wrote to Mattel complaining about the talking Barbie who says 'math is hard'.

  3. The word sexy doesn't bother me, but it does bother me that most ads concerned with household chores feature women cleaning the house, never men. That is SEXISM and I object to it!

  4. Not sure if this will be of any interest to you, but I found this blog post after googling the return address I found on an envelope I received today.

    I signed up for a subscription to The Atlantic magazine a while back, and today my first issue arrived in an envelope with the address "Match Returns R, PO Box 265, Egham, TW20 2AF". I'm guessing "Match Returns" is some kind of distribution operation. Seeing as I'm in the UK, I was expecting it to be shipped surface mail from the US or something. I guess it's cheaper to bulk ship to this company and let them send them out.

    It's weird you got a letter in Canada from the UK though! Seems like it went through some strange process where P&G ship out all their letters via this distribution company.

  5. Hey weird! I'm in the UK and I've just received a CD this morning that I haven't ordered (or even heard of before!)
    I'm trying to find out where to return it to & it also says "Match Returns R, PO Box 265, Egham, TW20 2AF".
    I'm also trying to work out if I did, in fact, order some music and got this by mistake, but I have no way of checking as I have no idea where this CD has come from!!!
    What a conundrum!