Shy Bladder Group Protests Rob Lowe’s DirecTV Ad


The problem with making stellar advertising and writing thought-provoking copy to close a deal is that you have to think of everything. And we mean everything. 

Just ask advertising agency Grey New York about that (and shout out to our sister site AgencySpy for the knowledge).

A couple of months ago, the think tank at Grey NY got together with DirecTV and said, “We have an idea that will sell more satellite subscriptions…and it involves Rob Lowe.”

For the most part, the ads work. They get your attention. They make you talk. They even make you cringe a bit. The company, however, has encountered some backlash stemming from a scene where “painfully awkward me” can’t pee in front of people.

Not convinced there is an advocacy group for every affliction under the sun? Whatever ails you, you can count on the Interwebz to point you in the direction of a support website filled with folk that share the peculiar symptoms you struggle with every day.

Meet the International Paruresis Association.

This is an national organization devoted to the roughly 7 percent of Americans (21 million people) who have some form of “shy bladder syndrome.”

Can bladders blush?

“Often referred to as Pee-Shy, Shy-Bladder, Bashful Bladder, etc., avoidant paruresis is nothing to be ashamed of.”

You’ll be shocked to learn that this group wants the Rob Lowe ad pulled. According to AP via CNBC, the satellite TV company thinks its critics should be able to take a joke. The IPA, however, is not so amused:

We don’t mind if people have a little fun with it,” Steve Soifer, the organization’s CEO, told The Associated Press. “It’s a situation that a lot of people don’t understand. In this particular case, the portrayal is making it look ridiculous, that this guy is a loser for having a problem.”

You had us right up until the end.

So, that’s it — he’s ugly. If the ad had starred hunky, St. Elmo’s Fire-era Rob Lowe, then it wouldn’t matter so much that he’s too shy to pee in front of others. But the depiction of him as a less attractive character raised some advocates’ eyebrows.

We say let the man urinate in peace.