|Launch year||1922 (Trademark)|
|Current supplier||Reckitt Benckiser|
Veet, formerly called Neet and Immac, is a current trademark of chemical depilatory internationally sold products manufactured by Reckitt Benckiser. Hair removal creams, mousses and gels, and waxes are produced under this brand. It has previously created similar products under the names Neet and Immac.
Veet's hair removal products contain thioglycolic acid and potassium hydroxide. These ingredients react to generate the depilatory chemical potassium thioglycolate, which according to the company, increases hair loss. The effect is to break the disulfide bonds of the keratin molecules in hair. This reduces the tensile strength of the keratin so greatly that the hair can be wiped away.
Previously called "Neet," the hair removal product was manufactured by Hannibal Pharmaceutical Company and registered as a US trademark in 1919 in Canada and in 1922 in the US. The trademark for Neet was then picked up by the American Home Products Corporation in 1958. Neet was then transferred to its current holder, Reckitt Benckiser (then called Reckitt & Colman (Overseas) Ltd.).
The Veet name was established in 1922 in the UK. The name was used in some European countries, but was not used universally. For example, while the product was sold as Veet in France, the product was sold in the United States as Neet until 2002, when the Veet name was first used commercially in the US.
Veet was advertised in the 1920s (then known as Neet) as a product that was "faster than shaving," was called "the ready to use hair removing cream," and was initially sold for about fifty cents in the US. Immac was a deodorant produced by the same company.
More recent advertising campaigns have used university students as spokespersons for their products political commentary, such as the "No More Bush" ads after the 2008 United States Presidential Election.
Some advertising from Veet has been controversial. A test website for the product in France offended some online users by claiming that the product was "good for the pussy." The URL of the website (no longer available) was at monminoutoutdoux.com, which translates to "My Pussy's All Soft." The campaign was cartoon-like and obviously directed towards prepuberal girls, playing on their sexual uninformedness and insinuating that unshaved hairs would sting, through lyrics like "A pussy that stings is really nasty" in the song accompanying the cartoon video. Also, the site featured an internet game aimed at shaving all hairs of the cartoon pussycat. If the "pussy" was not shaved enough, the user would be met by a message "You've chosen the right product! But the pussy wants more shaving! Redo the test". A representative of Veet addressed the situation stating, "We wanted to create an ad campaign that was a bit humorous and offbeat...we didn't want to shock but we're not the experts on that." The manager reported there were several complaints about the website, and it was summarily taken down so as not to "tarnish the brand's image."
In April 2014, Veet released several controversial commercials. These were poorly received across social media, drawing wide criticism for their unkind depiction of unshaven women as being masculine. This caused many groups to call for a boycott of Veet products, saying that the company is promoting insecurity and sexism.