Media Release: Sex store Honey Birdette receives record 70th advertising ethics code violation

Playboy-owned sex shop Honey Birdette has received its 70th ruling for being in violation of Australian Association of National Advertisers code of ethics. The rulings relate to the company’s porn-themed window displays in shopping centres.

Since 2010, Ad Standards has investigated close to 160 complaints about Honey Birdette promotions, upholding complaints against 70. The latest ruling was announced 13 March, with two separate ads deemed to have a “high level of nudity” and found in breach of Section 2.4 of the Code.

Honey Birdette has drawn significant criticism for pornified ads depicting BDSM, upskirting, choking, orgies, and for displaying visible genitals. We have highlighted the company’s fetishising of female flight attendants, female athletes and lesbians.

Advertising in Australia is industry self-regulated. The code of ethics is voluntary - advertisers are not obligated to comply with rulings. Ad Standards has no powers of enforcement and there are no penalties for non-compliance which means serial offenders like Honey Birdette continue to breach the code and get away with it.

The company continues to broadcast porn and BDSM-themed advertising to an all-ages audience with no consequences.

In 2011, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs in its report ’Reclaiming public space' said the ad industry should be given one last chance to clean up its act.

A petition calling for Honey Birdette landlords to stop using porn-style advertising in shopping centres has attracted almost 80,000 signatures.

Honey Birdette has previously been accused of sexual harassment, bullying and exploitation by young female staff.

Collective Shout Campaigns Manager Caitlin Roper said in 13 years, nothing had changed.

“We have decades of research documenting how sexualised and objectifying representations of women contribute to men’s violence against women,” she said.

“We are in the midst of a national epidemic of violence against women, yet Honey Birdette delivers up one ad after another portraying women as things existing for men’s sexual use.

“Ad industry self-regulation has facilitated this. We need a complete overhaul of the system.”

Thursday 14 March, 2024

Contact: Caitlin Roper, [email protected]

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  • Caitlin Roper
    published this page in News 2024-03-14 09:17:24 +1100

You can defend their right to childhood

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