Ad Standards uphold complaints over sexist Kittens Car Wash billboard

Ad Standards has upheld complaints over a prominent Kittens Car Wash billboard in Melbourne, where sleazy men pay women in g-string bikinis to feign interest in them wash their cars.


A complaint made to Ad Standards read as follows:

It’s sexist and degrading to women. It encourages the notion that women’s bodies are for the sexual gratification of men. It’s in a highly visible area where families with children (including myself) pass by every day. It’s also primarily there to promote the associated strip club and as such is advertising sexual services in a prominent public position. It is demeaning and overtly sexual for a company who only wash cars. The workers wear bikinis to wash your car but the billboard is also to promote the strip club also called Kittens. It is on a prominent corner of a high traffic area.


Ad Standards considered the complaint, noting that the woman’s body was being used as an object to advertise the service. The panel found that the advertisement was in breach of Section 2.2 of the code which states: “Advertising or marketing communications should not employ sexual appeal in a manner which is exploitative or degrading of any individual or group of people.”

The panel also considered the woman’s pose was “seductive and highly sexualised”, finding it was in breach of Section 2.4 of the code, which requires advertisers to treat sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity to the relevant audience.

Kittens Car Wash has a long history of using sexist and sexually objectifying imagery to advertise their sexist business. The ‘Kittens School of Striptease’ bus advertisement sat on the corner of a major intersection in Melbourne in full view of traffic parked next to a bikini carwash. After Ad Standards upheld complaints against it in 2010, Kittens continued to use the same image on a number of different vehicles. Read more.


See also:

Sexist and outdated: Kittens Carwash pays women to wash cars in bikinis

Ad Standards Board bans Kittens Carwash Striptease bus ad

Kittens Car Wash comes under fire from feminists for paying its female workers to clean vehicles wearing nothing more than bikinis and g-strings- Daily Mail

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