General Pants has a long history of using sexist and sexually objectifying advertising to sell its merchandise. Their latest ad campaign, in store windows across the country, shows that nothing much has changed.
This is not the first time General Pants has sexually objectified women, or used topless women to promote their products. The youth retailer first came to our attention after featuring pole dancers in their shop window display in Melbourne's Bourke Street store.
In 2011, General Pants management instructed underage staff to wear “I love sex” badges that made them feel embarrassed and uncomfortable.
General Pants then displayed large images of topless women being stripped from behind by an unseen man. Some of these images were framed as large keyholes to suggest the women were being spied on.
A short time later, a supporter alerted us to the store’s change room wallpaper, featuring an array of images advertising pornography and prostitution.
In 2014, General Pants window displays featured sexualised images of young, bikini clad women in the bath alongside the slogan ‘Wet Dreams’.
In 2016, their advertising featured topless and semi-naked women alongside fully clothed men.
The research is clear- exposure to these sort of everyday sexualised images of women has a range of negative impacts, including greater body dissatisfaction and self-objectification in women, greater support of sexist beliefs and a greater tolerance of violence against women, as well as leading both men and women to have a diminished view of women’s competence, morality and humanity.
The ongoing sexualising and objectifying treatment of women by companies like General Pants contributes to real-world harms for women and girls- why is this advertising still permitted?
Ad industry self-regulation in Australia is a failure. In the lead up to the election, we are calling on supporters to contact their local candidates and ask them to support a new regulatory regime to ensure public spaces are free from sexualised and sexually objectifying images that harm women and children.
It's that time of year again, already! As Christmas approaches, retailers are kicking it up a notch competing for your business, and Collective Shout releases our annual blacklist of corporate offenders who have sexualised girls and objectified women throughout the year. These companies do not respect women, they have not changed their ways, and they don't deserve your money.
You can speak with your wallet and show these companies that sexually exploiting women and girls is bad for business.
Below is our boycott list for 2016:Read more
Doughnut Time joins a growing number of companies requiring young staff members to wear uniforms with sexually suggestive slogans and imagery. We have long raised questions about this exploitation of young female staff and invitation for sexual harassment.
Collective Shout's National Director of Operations Coralie Alison was quoted in The Age over uniforms for female staff with strategically placed doughnuts.Read more
"...the reference to “wet dreams” is linked primarily to the competition to win an overseas trip to Dubai"
- Ad Standards Board, apparently not joking.Read more
A supporter sent in this photograph of the inside of a General Pants change room. The change room is plastered with images of pornography and prostitution advertisements.Read more
Porn inspired ad campaign may create a hostile work environment in which women are sexually harassed by co-workers or customersRead more
We say get rid of it altogether
Collective Shout supporters have been blogging on our website and speaking out on our Facebook page about the General Pants Co. advertisements and promotions for new Ksubi line titled 'Sex and Fashion.' As usual, when 'sex' is used as a marketing tool it is women who are stripped down naked and objectified for men's gratification. General Pants Co. have even used keyhole imagery giving the impression of the viewer 'spying' on naked women.
The image on the left is what appeared in the shop windows of General Pants Co. stores in shopping centres such as Westfield, Stocklands and Centro. The image on the right is a picture taken after General Pants Co. 'censored' the advertisement in their shop window.
This photo was taken April 2009. Pole dancers in shop front windows of a General Pants store, Bourke Street Melbourne.Read more