UK's Advertising Standards Authority takes a stand against objectification of women. Time for Australia to do the same.
A clothing brand Missguided has been told by the UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to not use advertising that objectifies women in future campaigns.
The retailer aired an ad during the TV show Love Island that “showed models on a beach with their legs apart in seductive poses, a woman running her hand up her inner thigh, a group of women in thong bikinis and another woman posing in a bikini with her legs astride on a motorcycle”, the ASA said.
The ASA received a complaint that the ad was “overly sexualised and objectified women”.
The brand argued that the ad showed "empowering, confident women" in bikinis.
While the ASA acknowledged that swimwear was to be expected in a summer advert, it concluded that the advertising was "irresponsible" and the way the bikinis were presented “invited viewers to view the women as sexual objects”.
'The scene of the four women in thong bikinis leaning against a wall exposed a lot of the buttocks and hips of three of the women. The very next scene showed another woman in a similar thong bikini sitting astride a motorbike and leaning back with one arm bent above her head.
'While we acknowledged that the heads and faces of the women were often shown, in many of the scenes the women looked seductively at the camera with their lips parted and their poses were sexually suggestive - in particular in the scene of the model sprawled out over the bike which presented her as merely a decoration to the bike."
The regulator banned the ad from appearing in the future.
Collective Shout commends the ASA for taking a strong stance when it comes to the sexual objectification of women. Sadly the excuse used by the retailer sounds very similar to that used by Ad Standards when dismissing similar complaints about sexualised advertising in Australia. It sounds like the UK is light years ahead of Australia when it comes to regulating advertising and keeping the community safe from harmful marketing.
We have documented the failures of Australia's self regulated advertising industry here.
The harms of sexually objectifying portrayals of women are clear. This meta-analysis states that:
Sexually objectifying portrayals of women are a frequent occurrence in mainstream media, raising questions about the potential impact of exposure to this content on others’ impressions of women and on women’s views of themselves. The goal of this review was to synthesize empirical investigations testing effects of media sexualization. The focus was on research published in peer-reviewed, English-language journals between 1995 and 2015. A total of 109 publications that contained 135 studies were reviewed.
The findings provided consistent evidence that both laboratory exposure and regular, everyday exposure to this content are directly associated with a range of consequences, including higher levels of body dissatisfaction, greater self-objectification, greater support of sexist beliefs and of adversarial sexual beliefs, and greater tolerance of sexual violence toward women. Moreover, experimental exposure to this content leads both women and men to have a diminished view of women’s competence, morality, and humanity.
Huffington Post here
Daily Mail here
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
Originally published on The Conversation
Advertising and sex are two of the oldest professions in the world. Indeed, one of the earliest uses of advertising was to advertise sexual services; prostitutes in Ancient Greece carved ads into the soles of their sandals so that their footprints read: “Follow me”.
Sex and sexism, however, are different things. One is fun and most people do it at some time in their lives; the other is offensive and should never be done at all. But if recent events – from Eddie McGuire to Steve Price – are any indication, it seems sexism, like porn, is something you only know when you see it.
If you need to know how this plays out in advertising, the award-winning Game of Balls ad is sex-in-advertising. The Ultratune ads are sexism in advertising, as is the campaign using pre-teen models in sexualised poses to advertise dancewear.Read more
Marketing and advertising is often ruled by sex. We're told "Sex Sells." It's such a long accepted idea that it's almost expected. From Microsoft using it to sell their Xbox to perfume companies to sell fragrances. Sex is even used to sell pizza.
It's a short hand, a lazy marketing technique that says little while showing everything. It’s forced onto products that don’t need it, don’t work with it, and have nothing to do with it, as if the product is almost window dressing, and what they’re really selling is the woman posing on top of it.
But what if the old maxims are wrong? What if the photos of naked or half naked women, sexualized poses and titillation don't sell? What if the preconceptions of advertisers were wrong?Read more
Mad Pizza E Bar don’t have the best marketing. That’s the simplest way to put it. Largely because their approach to getting people through the door looks closer to porn than pizza. From the naked women on the walls of their establishment to the close ups of breasts on their menus to the soft-core posts plastered all over their Facebook page, they don’t seem to spend much time focusing on their product – it’s all about the women posing around it.
So what’s the problem? What’s wrong with using sexualised images in place of a marketing strategy? There’s a bunch of things.Read more
Update: Sign Petition to PETA
PETA is a not-for-profit organization that aims to establish and protect the rights of all animals. PETA's website states that it operates under these principles:
‘Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.’
PETA’s self-proclaimed commitment to the ethical treatment of animals is in direct contrast with their sexually exploitative treatment of women in their advertising.
It's 2016. Yet companies all over the world continue to push the toxic message that women are only valued for their sex appeal. We've spoken out about Calvin Klein before for their 'gang rape' billboards which thankfully at the time were ordered to be removed after complaints to the Advertising Standards Board.Read more
Well General Pants are under the spotlight again for yet another sexist ad campaign. General Pants are repeat offenders. We've highlighted them in our #CrossedOff blog every year since 2010.
There was the time they forced teenage staff to wear "I love sex" badges. The time they plastered their change rooms with images of pornography and prostitution advertisements. The time they used posters of a topless woman being stripped from behind. And who can forget their "Wet Dreams" promotion.Read more
What will 30 minutes at Chadstone Shopping Centre tell us about our pornified culture?Read more
There's a quote we refer to often at Collective Shout headquarters - 'Silence is the language of complicity, speaking out is the language of change" and this week we saw another example of how speaking out can make a difference.
Joyce had been concerned about some sexualised imagery at her local liquor store for a number of years now. Attempts to discuss this with the store manager had fallen on deaf ears. Inspired by the campaigns from Collective Shout she decided to take action.Read more