Hair Salon Defends Domestic Violence Ad, but Apologizes Too

Advertiser promises donations to a women's shelter

A hair salon in Edmonton, Alberta, is getting quite snippy this week following international outrage (OK, outrage in the U.S. and Canada) over a new ad that features a woman with a black eye getting a diamond necklace from her partner. "Look good in all you do," says the ad for the Fluid salon—a somewhat ambiguous suggestion which, to its detractors, implies that it's OK to get beaten up as long as your hair remains pretty (or judging by the photo, maybe a little bushy on the sides). Advertisers in this situation usually cut and run, pull the ad and slink back into obscurity. But store owner Sarah Cameron is playing by a different rule book. On Monday, she was indignant, telling the Edmonton Sun: "Everyone is getting so sensitive. Anyone who has a connection or a story behind anything can be upset or have an opinion. We are not trying to attack anyone." Copyranter featured the ad that same day, giving it a wider audience. Cameron still hasn't removed the ad from the website, but as pressure has built, she has added a weird, lengthy note in which she alternately defends the ad and apologizes for it (while also irritably pointing out that Edmonton is the murder capital of Canada, and shouldn't people be battling gangs and a crappy justice system rather than hair salons in the first place?). "Please interpret the ad as freedom dictates—that is your right—just as artistic expression is our right," she says, though she adds: "If survivors of abuse interpret this ad to make light of any abusive situation, we sincerely apologize." She is also promising to make a donation to the Edmonton Women's Shelter whenever anyone comes into Fluid and mentions the ad. The execution is part of a series—check out more from the campaign after the jump.