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.
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
Ad Standards have upheld complaints against a strip club, Goldfingers Mens Club over an “unavoidable” poster on the corner of King Street and Lonsdale Street featuring a highly sexualised image of a woman with a guitar between her legs.
A modified version of an image from the venue's Instagram appears to match the description of the ad:
One of the complaints to Ad Standards said that the ads were sexually explicit and suggestive:
"Even though there is no full-frontal nudity, they are still sexually explicit and make me very uncomfortable as I stand by that corner each morning waiting for the traffic lights.
"It's unavoidable, and I feel unnecessary for the business to advertise such an explicit poster to promote their theme night or weekend.”
We've spent years dealing with the Advertising Standards Board, and in this time, we've seen the many flaws in the system- one we argue needs a complete upheaval. Of course, the industry likes things exactly the way they are. As the Australia Institute said in the Letting Children Be Children report, "… advertisers also have an interest in avoiding government scrutiny that may lead to stronger regulation of advertising in the interests of the general public…Self-regulation is a strategy that enables the industry to avoid such scrutiny."
We've made a list of flaws in the current system, and narrowed it down to 25.Read more