'Sex Sells' Diesel Jeans, we're not buying

Diesel Jeans scrapes bottom of creative barrel with 'sex sells' campaign.

Julie Gale of Kids Free 2B kids alerted us to this campaign from 'Diesel.' As you can see, creativity isn't their strong point, neither is respect. These images are placed in a shop front window.


Below is Julie's complaint to the Ad Standards Board:


One of the adverts portrays a woman sitting on a couch. She is wearing only jeans, the fly is open and her legs are apart. One arm covers her bare breasts and the other is on her head which is extended backwards. The words ""Sex Sells - "" unfortunately we sell jeans' are printed across her breats and stomach. The second is a man lying sideways on the couch arms above his head. He is bare cheasted and wearing only jeans. The words 'Sex Sells - unfortunately we sell jeans' are displayed at the top of this ad. The third is an image of two young people. She is wearing jeans and a red bra - he is bare chested and wearing only jeans. She is straddled over him laughing into the camera one hand on his shoulder. He is staring at her breasts and holding her hips. Their chests are covered with the printed words 'Sex Sells - unfortunately we sell jeans'.

Reason for complaint:

Whilst not strictly a Billboard - that is the nearest category to choose from your options.

Kids Free 2B Kids is complaining about these images because of the adult sexualised images and text. The target market may well be for older teens or young adults – but it is displayed in the public arena and at children’s eye level.

Children are therefore held captive to these images and are involuntarily exposed. It is also significant that there is a kindergarten and day care centre in the street this ad features. Many of the parents at these centres are upset by the images, which they see as totally inappropriate for their children and their siblings.

The response from Diesel head office, when contacted by one of the parents, is typical of the industry. The response was condescending and lacked awareness and understanding about the impacts of the early sexualisation of children.

Sherri, a mother of 7 and 5 yr old girls was taking the youngest to Kinder with the eldest in tow and was confronted with questions pertaining to the above slogan. Sherri feeling that this billboard was inappropriate, contacted Diesel head office to air her concern. After being handballed a couple of times she was put in contact with who they felt was the appropriate party to handle this type of issue. Bernard from head office, returned Sherrie’s call saying.. whilst laughing.... “It should be seen as opportunity to discuss sex and sexual issues with your daughter and she should be open-minded and take it with a grain of salt. We don’t want censorship in Australia.”

Bernard appeared to find the whole issue both very amusing and a positive reflection on the overall campaign. He then proudly informed Sherri that ...“we’re just about to start another great marketing campaign called ‘that’s stupid.’ Sherri, quite shocked by the lack of respect and empathy combined with Bernard’s amusement and dismissive approach to her genuine concern, was left speechless.

Kids Free 2B Kids would like to see industry - advertisers, marketers, retailers etc proactively responsible about what kids are exposed to in the public arena. The images in combination with the text are not appropriate for kids viewing.

Have you seen these Advertisements?

You might like to join Julie by writing your own letter to the Ad Standards Board here. Also when shopping for clothing for yourself or children (yep, they have a children's range, though we're not sure if it's selling in Australia yet) check the label. If it's Diesel, put it back.

What do you think of the Diesel Jeans campaign? Let us know in the comments below.

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