The Board noted the advertised product is clothing and considered that it was not exploitative to use a woman wearing the advertised product. The Board noted that the woman is shown to lift her top up and expose her stomach. The Board noted the complainant’s concern that by showing a woman in the act of undressing the advertisement presents the woman as a sexual object.
The Board noted that the tagline, which features across each image and covers the woman’s torso, says “Everything 50-70% off” and considered that the woman’s partial removal of her clothing is a physical demonstration of this rather than a suggestion that the woman is a stripper.
The Board acknowledged that some members of the community would prefer that female models were not used to advertise clothing in this manner but considered that in the context of a clothing sale the images of the woman lifting her top to reveal a naked stomach and back were not exploitative and/or degrading of this, or any other, woman.
Advertising code of ethics must change!
Sign the petition to change advertising standards here.
The Board noted that in order to be in breach of this section of the Code the image would need to use sexual appeal in a manner that is both exploitative and degrading.
The Board noted the advertised product is lingerie and considered that the pose of the woman is not necessary to promote the product and in the Board’s view this depiction of a woman bending slightly to look in a mirror so that her bottom is towards the viewer is exploitative.
The Board noted that the woman in the advertisement is viewed from behind as she leans in towards a mirror on a dressing table and considered that while only the bottom half of her head is visible in the Board’s view the focus is on the lingerie and the overall image is not degrading to this, or any other, woman.Read more
We exposed Shade Sunscreen for using sexually objectifying women to advertise their products. Shade Sunscreen’s social media was dominated by sexualised images of women’s bodies and body parts. Following a single complaint, all of their Australian social media sites were suddenly taken down.
“The Board noted the images featuring a topless model next to an elephant. . . . and considered that the model’s nipples are not visible and while there is no need for the model to be topless this is not of itself a breach of the Code.”Read more
The final decision came down to whether a finger hooked in the side of a g-string was “part of the woman’s pose” or intended to look like she's pulling them downRead more
Man is fully clothed, woman wears body paint and yet “The Board noted that the woman’s nipples are sufficiently covered by body paint . . .”Read more
"Sexism is not always obviously violent, exploitative or degrading. It can be unintended or disguised innocently as humour, but it is always insidious, offensive to and exclusionary of its victims."
In Australia we have a self regulatory advertising system. This system is in place to (supposedly) ensure that "advertisements and other forms of marketing communications are legal, decent, honest and truthful and that they have been prepared with a sense of obligation to the consumer and society and a sense of fairness and responsibility to competitors."
As part of this system a 'code of ethics' was drawn up. Each time a complaint is made the Advertising Standards Board goes back to this code to see if the ad is in breach of one or more of the codes. But how effective can the code of ethics be when it completely ignores sexism?Read more
Advertisers, challenged with cutting through a cluttered marketing environment, sometimes aim to shock. Unfortunately while their aim may be to get their client noticed, our research shows they continue to glorify the violent exploitation of women.
This is despite increasing community support, matched by public policy efforts to counter violence against women.Read more
Sign the petition to call on the ASB and the AANA to revise the Code of Ethics and stop letting Australian advertisers get away with sexism and objectification.
For years, the Advertising Standards Board (ASB) has turned a blind eye to sexism in advertising, because it’s not specifically mentioned in the advertisers’ Code of Ethics.
Take this recent ruling from the ASB on the demeaning and objectifying ‘Hot Girls Eat Free’ ads at a local Sydney pub. While the board noted the ad was ‘objectifying’, they added…
“However… the Code does not prohibit such advertising unless the advertising material could be considered to be discriminatory or vilifying.”
It’s simply unacceptable.
While our government is executing the ‘National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children’, we have a self-regulatory advertising system that gives the green light to sexism and objectification.
Join the call for a simple solution!
The research is clear that…
- Sexually objectifying portrayals of women are harmful – especially to young girls.
- Exposure can lead to higher levels of body dissatisfaction, greater support of sexist beliefs and greater tolerance of sexual violence toward women.
But the good news is, there’s a simple solution to this problem – the AANA simply needs to update their Code of Ethics to ensure advertisers are kept accountable for sexist and objectifying material.
Sign the petition below to call on the ASB and the AANA to revise the Code of Ethics and stop letting Australian advertisers get away with sexism and objectification.
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