Shoppers continue to #boycottwestfield over their lack of action regarding banned Honey Birdette posters
Guest blog post from "one angry mum"
Parenting is hard at the best of times. You want to make the right decisions for your kids so that they grow up to be well rounded, compassionate, kind human beings. You hope that you can instil in them a sense of justice, that they would change the world and make it a better place. With so many horrific stats around male violence against women in this country I see it as my duty to raise my son to respect women. To see them as fully human, rather than sexualised, objectified things. The research on this is clear on the links between objectification and violence against women.
That is why I am intentional about what we watch, what we listen to, the way I speak about others. Because although he is young, he is listening, he is watching, and he is learning. The foundation is being set on who he will be and how he behaves in the future. A simple trip to Westfield to get groceries shouldn't threaten that.
On July 20 2018 as we walked through the centre my son sat proudly in the trolley, eyes open wide at all the lights and shiny, fun things around him. And then we passed it....a huge blown up poster in the front window of Honey Birdette. This poster was far beyond the type of imagery you should expect to see in a public place frequented by children. They way the model was styled and posed was hyper-sexualised. The particular garment she was wearing was transparent. Why should my toddler be exposed to that when I'm walking through a Westfield to get groceries?
So I went home and typed up a complaint to Ad Standards. I was certain this ad could not be in line with their code of ethics. I received an email from them six days later (on the July 26) that the panel were going to consider my complaint.
On Aug 24 I finally heard back from Ad Standards. Five whole weeks after I lodged my complaint. I was pleased to read in their correspondence that that had in fact upheld my complaint.
The Panel noted that the bra the woman was wearing was sheer and considered that there was a strong suggestion that her nipple was visible. The Panel noted that the design and cut of the lingerie featured in the advertisement left a large portion of her breasts visible and that this imagery did contain a high level of nudity.
The Panel considered that the level of nudity was at the higher end of the scale and as such the image included on a poster that is visible to members of the community standing outside the business was not appropriate for the relevant broad audience which would likely include children.
The Panel determined the advertisement did not treat sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity to the relevant audience and did breach Section 2.4 of the Code. Finding that the advertisement breached Section 2.4 of the Code, the Panel upheld the complaints.Read more
When will changes be made to the failed advertising self regulation system?
In December last year Honey Birdette released a series of posters for display in their shop windows around the country. Consumers lodged their complaints with the Advertising Standards Board who eventually determined that two of the four posters did in fact breach the code of ethics.
Honey Birdette have repeatedly breached the code of ethics. But there are no penalties for repeat offenders. And by the time the ASB made their determination in January, the posters had already been up for weeks, and had since been replaced by the next months promotional signage.
How many children were exposed to these harmful images in the meantime? Why must families doing their weekly grocery shop continually be exposed to hyper-sexualised content against their will?
We've outlined 25 flaws to the current self regulatory system here.
Contact your MP regarding the flaws in the current system.Read more
New on our list of corporations that have exploited women are Volley with their recent #Grassroots campaign. Volley have been a popular shoe company for decades, but for some reason they got lazy and decided they were going to try the 'sex sells' method of advertising (which we know doesn't actually lead to more sales as detailed here).Read more
Overall the Board considered that posters 1, 4 and 5 on their own did not treat the issue of sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity to the relevant audience and that although posters 2, 3 and 6 did treat the issue of sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity to the relevant audience, their use in conjunction with posters 1, 4 and 5 gives these posters a more sexualised tone and therefore all 6 posters, when displayed together, did not treat the issue of sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity to the relevant audience.
The Board determined that the advertisement when viewed as a whole did breach Section 2.4 of the Code and that images used in posters 1, 4 and 5 in an outdoor placement did breach Section 2.4 of the Code. Finding that the advertisement did breach Section 2.4 of the Code, the Board upheld the complaints.Read more
"the placement of the advertisement in food court area of a shopping mall means that the entirety of the advertisement would be viewed by people using the food court . . . the content is too sexualised for this broad audience which would include children."Read more
Lingerie retailer Bras'N'Things has been forced to discontinue a Playboy video ad due to its overtly explicit content.
While many associate Playboy simply with its branded items or magazine, Playboy Enterprises own various adult TV channels and websites, broadcasting brutal, hardcore pornography. Retailers that stock Playboy branded products are helping Playboy to produce and distribute content that objectifies and degrades women.
Consumers lodged complaints with the Advertising Standards Board after being exposed to the sexualised content which was playing on TV screens in the retailer’s front windows in full view of passers by including children.Read more