After posting that wacky Mother’s Day vagina moisturizer pitch, we did a little digging to find out how it came to be. Turns out an overzealous intern is to blame.
A quick trip to the Replens website shows Global Communication Works is the brand’s PR contact. A couple of emails later, I was talking with Kristin Stewart, the director of marketing for Lil Drug Store Products, home of Replens.
“This was an unfortunate situation for all of us,” Stewart told us.
According to Stewart, the company puts out a regular newsletter that discusses a variety of topics that impact the typical Replens customer, who, Stewart told us, “tends to be older and menopausal.” Content skews towards general interest, Stewart continued, with the occasional mention of the company’s products or a coupon.
An intern at the firm thought they could come up with a pitch that went “beyond content for the newsletter,” Stewart continued. A draft of the pitch was supposed to be vetted by the client. There was a misunderstanding and the intern went ahead and sent it to the brand’s blogger list. And thus, we have our post. Sounds like a PR intern’s nightmare.
“At first, we thought someone was playing a hoax – after all, it was just following April Fools Day – and we had a good laugh as we discussed how we should respond,” Stewart told us in a follow up email. “Then we learned that the release was the brainchild of an intern at our PR agency. Obviously, for all of the reasons you and other bloggers pointed out on your sites, we would never have intentionally released this pitch in its current form.”
But, we asked, has all the poking fun had any positive impact?
“This is something we have struggled with,” said Stewart during our phone conversation. “It has started conversations in places where we wouldn’t normally have conversations. Women who are suffering with problems should be able to talk about them. We do it about all kinds of crazy things, but this issue, we don’t seem to talk about.”
The pitch even led to a story in Psychology Today, which proposes that using a bit of humor to discuss this common problem could be a good thing. “So, perhaps there is a silver lining to this intern’s mistake – perhaps it will help women to talk and laugh about their own feminine health issues and become more aware of how Replens can help them with this troubling problem,” Stewart wrote.
We totally agree. (That pitch was six kinds of hilarious.)
Stewart tells us that they’re still working with Global Communication, commending them for the “excellent” work the firm has done for them, but stating they’ve gotten “assurances… an error of this type will not happen again.”