Don't give these companies your XMAS dollar this year!
Every year in the lead up to the festive season we release our Crossed Off list – an annual blacklist of corporate offenders who objectify women and sexualise girls for profit in advertising and products – so our supporters can make informed shopping decisions.
This year sees the retention of long-term fixtures - repeat corporate offenders like the Playboy-owned sex store Honey Birdette, which continues to splash its shop fronts with life-size depictions of women in pornified posts and which heads our list.
These repeat offenders have had multiple chances to change their behaviour and refused. In normalising the sexist treatment of women, they show they don’t care about women and girls and they certainly don’t care about the community.
The 2023 line-up also includes a handful of new additions - like Cheeky Waffles and the retrograde Country Trucker Caps - we thought you should know about.
We’re asking you once again to vote with your wallets and send a strong message to these companies that sexploitation doesn’t sell and that you will be doing your Christmas shopping elsewhere. If they don’t understand Corporate Social Responsibility [CSR], maybe losing money will speak to them.
Boycotting the companies listed below demonstrates your commitment to CSR and shows you choose to spend your hard-earned dollar ethically.
Over the years, Playboy-owned sex store Honey Birdette has accrued almost 70 advertising code of ethics violations for its sexist and porn-themed shopfront promotions. Eroticising violence against women (including choking), pornifying breast cancer for profit, reducing female athletes, flight attendants and lesbians to a male porn fantasy and promoting limited, narrow standards of ideal female bodies, Honey Birdette is in the business of disempowering women and girls. Just ask their employees, who have protested a workplace culture of sexual harassment, bullying and exploitation. If you want to support actual female empowerment, don’t shop at Honey Birdette. Read more.
The Queensland-based dessert store is known for its porn-inspired menu items - penis and vulva-shaped waffles with names like ‘Playboy’, ‘OnlyFans’ and ‘WAP’ (a shout out to Cardi B’s porn-themed hit ‘Wet-As* Pus*y’). Having recently expanded to Perth and Melbourne, the company’s pornified social media includes images of penis-shaped waffles dripping white chocolate sauce from their tips (mimicking male ejaculation) and degrading photos of women simulating oral sex on them. Source your holiday treats elsewhere this holidays and give Cheeky Waffles a miss. Read more.
After almost three years of campaigning, this year we celebrated a win when the online shopping platform Etsy finally blocked search terms related to child sex abuse dolls on their site. But the company continues to sell incest and child abuse-themed merchandise, including sexy schoolgirl outfits. As petition starter Melbourne fashion designer and singer Anna Cordell explained, these products sexualise school girls and embolden men to harass real girls on their way to school – a daily experience for many of them. Let Etsy know what you think – do your online shopping elsewhere this Christmas! Read more.
Online fashion giant SHEIN objectifies and sexualises not only women, but girls too. After our complaint, the company was found in breach of the advertising code of ethics for sexualising a minor. Having previously documented a ‘paedophilic aesthetic’ in the company’s marketing of kids products, this year we exposed SHEIN selling g-strings for toddlers and little girls – some marketed as ‘sheer’. While SHEIN dumped the range of g-strings as well as penis ‘squishy toys’ after our five-day-long campaign, they continue to sell other items that sexualise girls, such as sexy schoolgirl outfits. Find an online platform that doesn’t contribute to fuelling sexual interest in children. Read more.
We first exposed City Beach for pushing porn themed products to young people back in 2010, and unfortunately nothing much has changed. Now the retailer is selling Playboy – a major brand of the global porn industry – to their youth market, with t-shirts, hoodies, shorts, socks, hats and beanies all emblazoned with the Playboy logo and images of women’s objectified bodies. When we called them out, City Beach defended promoting the porn brand to teens – most of whom would have little knowledge of Playboy’s dark history of sexually exploiting women and even little girls. Playboy Founder (the late) Hugh Hefner has also been accused of abusing, drugging and raping women. Send a message to City Beach that women and girls matter and that normalising them as sex objects for male pleasure does not help advance respectful relationships for young people. Read more.
General Pants has a long history of sexually objectifying women – in its sexist and porn-themed advertising, change rooms plastered with pornographic imagery and live pole-dancing displays. Despite a growing body of evidence documenting the harms of objectifying women, the company continues to treat women as parts – breasts, backsides and crotches. Women and girls deserve better. Buy your new clothes somewhere else. Read more.
Fashion designer Tom Ford has sexually objectified women in his brand advertising for many years. Last year we exposed Ford’s sleazy new cosmetics range which included lipsticks named ‘Age of Consent’ and ‘First Time’, as well as his ‘Lost Cherry’ perfume. The names of these products reference sex with virginal, underage girls (which is against the law). We argued the eroticisation of girls in Ford’s advertising and products has serious real-world consequences for girls. Sexualising girls in this way puts them at risk by undermining important social norms that say children are off limits for men’s sexual use. We wonder why Ford wanted to align his brand with sexual abuse of girls? Give Tom Ford a miss. Read more.
We know it’s challenging, but if you can possibly avoid them, stay away from major shopping centres which continue to host Honey Birdette’s porn-themed giant ads, facilitating kids’ exposure to porn and BDSM-themed imagery. We’ve called on CEOs to take action for years - and almost 80,000 of you signed dad Kenneth Thor’s petition. But Honey Birdette remains intransigent - even boasting that no one will force them to change. Some property group CEOs love to tell us they are a ‘Male Champion of Change’, pledging to fight sexism while at the same time profiting from hosting sexist and sexually violent imagery of women in their own centres. Where possible, consider alternatives to the big shopping centres, and boycott the children’s activities until they start demonstrating they care for their community. .
While many people associate Playboy with the now defunct magazine, the corporate remains a major brand of the global porn industry. Late founder Hugh Hefner was instrumental in creating today’s porn industry by mainstreaming the sexual trade in women’s bodies and turning porn into big business.
Playboy sexually exploits and objectifies not only adult women, but little girls too. Nude and pornographic images of girls as young as ten were published in Playboy publications, as well as a number of cartoons that portrayed young girls as welcoming men’s sexual abuse.
After a documentary telling the stories of women who were drugged, raped and subjected to image-based abuse by Hefner was aired, Playboy’s parent company PLBY Group scrambled to distance itself from the brand’s origins and rebrand as progressive and empowering for women.
But Playboy still preys on and grooms children, now with its Playboy Kids store in China. It continues to trade off its porn magazine roots, and in women’s objectified bodies. The porn brand has also launched its own version of OnlyFans called Centrefold.
Below is a list of retailers that stock Playboy products. These companies have chosen to endorse a company built on the sexual exploitation of women and girls. Send a message – refuse to financially support the stores propping up this regressive company which has profited from harm to women and girls for too long. Read more.
Country Trucker Caps
Just before launching this list, a supporter sent us some images from Country Trucker Caps, a Queensland-based company selling caps emblazoned with the words “Miners Get Vaginas” and “No hole to [sic] deep”. The sexist slogan objectifies women by reducing them to vaginas, mere holes to be penetrated. It endorses the objectification of women and reinforces men’s entitlement to women’s bodies in an industry known for its endemic sexual harassment and violence against women. After construction and mining equipment manufacturer CAT condemned the unauthorised use of their logo on the cap, it was removed from the website, but we've found plenty of others. Boycott this unethical company. Read more.
Where can I shop?
If you’re looking for some ethical alternatives where you can shop with a clear conscience, you can start with the companies that have signed our Corporate pledge not to objectify women and sexualise girls.
If you’d like to sign up to our CSR Pledge, you can get in touch with us here.
Do you know of others who are aligned? Let us know!
From all of us at Collective Shout, we are so grateful for your ongoing support and wish you a safe and happy Christmas and New Year. We look forward to achieving even more with you in 2024.
Our past Crossed Off Lists