Gain – Sinking Your Disabled Boat

Have you seen the new  “the more the better” Gain detergent ad?

When the delivery woman tries her best not to puke from the Gain fumes,
the Gain user shrugs and the voice-over says:

“Hey, you can’t float everyone’s boat. Love it or hate it, it’s intense.”


In other words, Gain implies they’re fine with sinking us

(More on what we all think about that later)

The ad starts off with a scene that already promotes an IAQ nightmare:


“When it comes to scent, Helen’s motto is, “the more the better”.

Helen doesn’t know these things
(diffusers, potpourri, and scented candles)
cause indoor air pollution.

Did you know that burning scented candles is like running
a diesel fueled car in your room?

National Air Quality Testing Services – Daily Mail – March 2019
Particle counts emitted by candles compared to diesel exhaust!

Turns out that this kind of pollution is not so good for our brains
(in addition to being bad for our  lungs):

From CARB:

  • Inhaled particles can travel through a nerve running from the nasal cavity into the brain, bypassing the lungs;
  • UFPM carried in the bloodstream can pass through the barrier that normally protects the brain; and
  • Chemical markers of brain inflammation can increase.

(among other things)

Learn more here:

Smog in our brains  
Researchers are identifying startling connections between air pollution and decreased cognition and well-being

But I digress… kind of…

You can see the commercial here:

Basic transcript of commercial

Gain Detergent Scent Blast TV Commercial “The More the Better”
Gain Detergent Scent Blast Fiercely Fresh

Voice-over: “When it comes to scent, Helen’s motto is, “the more the better” (scene with diffuser, scented candles, pot pourri on a living room table), so when she tried new Gain Scent Blast detergent, she luuuved it… (Cue angelic music in the background). Her son loves it  and her husband loves it too. The delivery woman (shown at door with a package while looking like she’s ready to vomit) “Hey, you can’t float everyone’s boat. Love it or hate it, it’s intense.”

EDIT at noon April 29th:

The copywriter’s version of the ad, as shown above on vimeo, has changed. The voice-over no longer says “Hey, you can’t float everyone’s boat.”
Now it ends with:
“The delivery woman, I guess not. Oh well. New Gain Scent Blasts. Love it or hate it, it’s intense.”

The original is still available on at the link below.

… (end edit) …

In case the embedded video disappears from above, it’s also available here:

In addition to promoting an unhealthy amount of pollution-creating fragranced products inside a home, they are promoting a new product with what they say is 3 times more intense  fragrance, so that people whose homes are already so filled with fumes can smell it over the other fumes.

Then, they claim that some people just don’t like certain fragrances, despite the obvious distress experienced by the mail carrier in their ad, implying that it’s not about adverse health effects, that it’s just a matter of not liking the product, that it’s the adversely affected persons problem when they (we) get hurt from involuntary exposures (like when doing our job), and not the users or the manufacturers who have a responsibility to stop harming others.

So basically, at Gain, they think:

Too bad, so sad if you have allergies, asthma, autism, cancer, migraines,
scent sensitivities, chemical “sensitivities”, or disabilities, or adverse health effects of any kind that are caused by their fragrances and products.

And too bad if you lose your job and income when these products make it impossible to keep working, that they’re good with instilling the attitude into their  users and other viewers via their marketing campaigns that the problem is with those who are harmed instead of  with the ones causing harm.

They are deliberately making fun of harming people.

It’s not just that they don’t want to float our boat, they literally want to sink us.

And it has to stop!


“Hey, you can’t float everyone’s boat.”

Gain implies that if we are adversely affected by their products,
they’re fine with sinking us.

“Love it or hate it, it’s intense.”

Love or hate having a disability, it’s intense.


What else is intense are the
migraines, dizziness, breathing difficulties/asthma attacks, nausea,
neurological impairments, heart problems, etc. that are associated with
involuntary exposures to these products.

The copywriter boasts on LinkedIn:

While my Bavarian ancestors spent their time hunting wild boars and stabbing people, I spend my time writing. I still work with sharp, pointed tools but it’s a little more humane.”


He should not be so proud of what he did for P&G and Gain with this ad.
There’s nothing humane about it.


Turns out he works for Saatchi & Saatchi’s NY office (they are global).
They need to be held accountable too.


From Saatchi & Saatchi’s about page:

“We believe passionately in the power of ideas to differentiate and motivate. And to change the world for the better.”


Here’s a NEWS FLASH (or few):

Making fun of people who are harmed by the harmful ingredients in products, does not make the world a better place!

Contributing to indifference, stigma, and bullying, (as well as subjecting people to substances that harm them) does not make the world a better place.

Making it sound like being harmed is a personal choice and no-one should care if they harm others, does not make the world a better place.

Promoting toxic environments (all those candles, diffusers, and fragrances, plus scent boosters to be able to smell more fragrance over the other fragrances) when the science about the health harms is more than enough to warrant all people become fragrance-free for public health, does not make the world a better place.

Marketing these products to people of colour who are already disproportionately harmed in this society, does not make the world a better place.

Promoting products that contain ingredients that are causing allergies, asthma, chemical “sensitivities”, disability, migraines, nausea, dizziness, cancer, confusion, learning disabilities, seizures, brain injuries, birth defects, and more, does not make the world a better place.

Promoting products that cause people to lose their jobs, lose their ability to go out in the world, to become housebound, to be unable to open windows or enjoy their own properties due to toxic trespass emanating from dryer vents, does not make the world a better place.

There is more, but I am tired…
Explaining all this negativity that is dumped on us is exhausting.

To make the world a better place, this commercial needs to be taken off the air, or heavily edited to make it truthful. (Scroll down for some honest examples)


Again, from Saatchi & Saatchi’s about page:

“We believe passionately in the power of ideas to differentiate and motivate. And to change the world for the better.

We have an unshakeable spirit and unbeatable attitude from day one at Saatchi & Saatchi that Nothing is Impossible.”

Prove it! Make the world better!

Seriously, an official apology by everyone involved with this harmful commercial needs to take place.

Saatchi and Saatchi, to make things right,  you should create a public service announcement (print ads, tv, and online video) about respecting people with disabling sensitivities, allergies,  and other disabling, chronic, and potentially life threatening health conditions (some of which are mentioned above) that are brought about or exacerbated by involuntary exposures to harmful products like these fragranced laundry products that other people use, as well as promoting and encouraging kindness to those who have thus been marginalized.

Then, in addition to this, start making PSAs to promote the creation of  fragrance-free policies everywhere.

Health and societal effects from exposure
to fragranced consumer products

“Finally, for public officials, the problem of “secondhand scents,”
or indirect exposure to fragranced products,
has parallels to secondhand tobacco smoke.

Prevention from fragrance product exposure will
enable individuals to work in their workplaces,
attend school, and function in society
without suffering involuntary harm.”

Fragranced consumer products:
exposures and effects from emissions.

Reworked and more accurate promotional materials:

They claim their new laundry product is 3Xs more intense than their already  universally (by people with allergies, chemical “sensitivities”, migraines, etc) despised and  disabling products. Now they gleefully want to make things worse.

Scented laundry products emit hazardous chemicals
through dryer vents

So what are the Ingredients?

Contains Biodegradable Surfactants (Anionic and Nonionic) and Enzymes

(according to info found on Walmart, amazon, and Martha Stewart websites)


We’re told there’s three times more fragrance intensity than before, but I can’t find any other ingredient details, despite really, really trying.

No ingredients anywhere, but lots of green-wash promo!


They can sink you with undisclosed toxic chemicals, but that’s ok
because it was made with wind power and pollutes with cold water?

From my decades in MCS/ES communities, I do not know of a single person who has MCS/ES or fragrance allergies or sensitivities who is ok with Gain. Not one!

Exposures to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd hand Gain causes so many adverse health effects, some of which are quite serious, while also polluting entire neighbourhoods (and beyond) when it’s pumped outside through dryer vents.

This is causing people to lose jobs and income, become housebound (if they can still pay for a home), unable to open windows, or enjoy being outside on their properties whenever anyone in the area does laundry.  Children can’t play outside with their parents, and people can’t walk their dogs. And the noxious fumes can remain in the air for hours if the winds don’t blow them away.

This is a serious form of toxic trespass!


It’s also causing problems away from home whenever people wearing clothing saturated  in Gain are encountered (like at dentists and doctors offices, hospitals, schools, airplanes, etc) and everywhere they have sat, as residues are transferred.


A previously white t-shirt had the following symptoms added to it:
pain, headaches, anaphylaxis, nausea, asthma, brain fog, dizziness
And the words
TOXIC, BARRIERS, SAD, PAINFUL, CRUEL, UNHEALTHY, and SICKENING  surround the shirt over the original explosive looking background

From ispot tv 
(the link was posted earlier)

“the delivery woman at their door, however, is overwhelmed.
But, hey, you can’t please everyone’s scent preferences!”

This new ad is yet another example of how people are being manipulated to think it’s a preference to be adversely affected by a fragranced product.

WHY on earth would anyone want to be sick or disabled by exposures to this (or any other) product they have no control over encountering?



It’s not about preferences! Stop causing harm and deflecting responsibility!

Preferences are about things like the colour of paint on a wall, or brand of clothing, or your hair style, or restaurant and dinner.

We don’t choose to develop adverse health effects or chronic, disabling, health problems from exposures to harmful products that we cannot avoid!!!


It’s only a matter of time before everyone using these products, and everyone involuntarily exposed to them has a health problem, and we’re almost there now:


Over 54% of kids have chronic health problems. (2011)
More than 1 in 20 children between the ages of 3 and 17 have a dizziness or balance problem.
Nearly 70% of the population is taking at least one pharmaceutical a day (2013).
Childhood mental health problems and suicide attempts have skyrocketed in recent years.
Suicides have already been linked to air pollution.
Reproductive problems, asthma, autism, cancers, learning disabilities, anxiety, mental health problems, and many other conditions have been increasing.
83.7% of adults with autism/ASD report problems from fragranced products.
Prevalence of diagnosed MCS has increased over 300%.


We have to stop polluting our indoor and outdoor air with these products
before it’s too late, for everyone!

Those scented products you love?
NOAA study finds they can cause air pollution

“Even though 15 times more petroleum is consumed as fuel than is used as ingredients in industrial and consumer products, the amount of chemical vapors emitted to the atmosphere in scented products is roughly the same, said lead author Brian McDonald, a CIRES scientist working at NOAA.”

“The chemical vapors, known as volatile organic compounds or VOCs, react with sunlight to form ozone pollution, and, as this study finds, also react with other chemicals in the atmosphere to form fine particulates in the air.”



Here’s some evidence that these products aren’t good for anyone.
EWG gives most Gain products an F.
That’s just from disclosed ingredients. There are undisclosed ingredients too.
The new product hasn’t been assessed yet.
Here are just a few of the 32 products that scored an F:

A more detailed look at why one of their products gets an F:

More info on being disabled by everyday products like Gain:


So You Think We’re Being Difficult
When We ask You to Change Products?

Your Very Own Neighbourhood Chemical Distribution Device

This commercial needs to be taken off the air.

Seriously, an official apology by everyone involved with this harmful commercial needs to take place.

Do the right thing!
Stop sinking people’s lives for profits from unnecessary products!


If you’ve read this far and wish to send  Gain an email (if you can find the address) or give them a call (at the number below), here’s a sample letter you can use or modify:


Dear Gain,

“The More the Better” philosophy in your recent scent blast detergent ad doesn’t  hold up for the one in three Americans who  experience adverse health effects from exposures to fragranced products.

The boats you won’t float are those of people who experience adverse effects which can become permanently disabling.

The delivery lady you say just “hates it” is only one of  the 15.1 % of the general population who reported that exposure to fragranced products in their work environment caused them to become sick, lose workdays, or lose a job.

Seriously, what’s “intense” are the migraines, dizziness, breathing difficulties/asthma attacks, nausea, neurological impairment, heart problems, etc. that are associated with your heavily scented chemical detergents.

Your biggest GAIN in future marketing efforts would be not harming or ridiculing those with disabilities!

You can do the right thing by removing this ad and instructing your marketing agencies to stop harassing people with disabilities!

You can also stop making products that harm people and the environment we all depend on for life!


Those of us who are seriously sensitive to fragrances and other pollutants


Their website contact info did not provide an email address, but they do have a telephone number – please write down the details of your call for your records, and if you are in one of the groups where this is shared, please share that you called. Companies are known to tell people that you are the only one who has called, even when we know a large number contacted them.

1-800-888-4246  • Monday – Friday   •   9:00AM – 6:00PM EST

People with disabling Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) and Environmental Sensitivities (ES) are protected by the ADA and Human Rights Codes.

Job Accommodation Network – JAN
CDC Indoor Environmental Policy
OHRC and CHRC codes and policies re environmental sensitivities in Canada


6 responses to “Gain – Sinking Your Disabled Boat

  1. Jeanette Marfield

    I’ve already sent them an email expressing my disgust at their ad. I also posted to my FB page and asked others to do the same

    • Thank you Jeanette!

      And thanks to everyone else who has been contacting them too. It’s having an impact.

      But we need to keep it up.

      Removing “You can’t float everyone’s boat” from the copywriter’s version was a wise move on their behalf, but “Oh well” and a shrug are still NOT appropriate responses to causing harm!

  2. I’d like to know the email address you used, Jeanette! If you can post that it would be great, thanks!


    • Sorry to hear. Unfortunately what happened to you has happened to far too many people.

      We need to speak up and out (and vote) to stop corporations and the government regulators they donate vast sums of money to from poisoning us for profits.

      It’s not ok what has been happening. It’s not ok at all.

  4. Pingback: MCS/ES: Societal Neglect = No More Fun and Games for Life on the Planet | Seriously "Sensitive" to Pollution

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