A new Children's Advertising Code has come into effect as of December following a review by the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA), but it is ultimately meaningless.Read more
Earlier this week a supporter sent us a screenshot of a sponsored post on Facebook where giant e-commerce platform SHEIN was pushing thigh-high fishnet stockings for infants. "This is a massive red flag for me" she said.
We discussed it as a team and our Movement Director, Melinda Tankard Reist said "This major online e-commerce platform thinks it’s ok to sexualise even babies by flogging thigh-high black fishnet stockings. Shein has linked babies with an item of clothing commonly associated with the sex trade. We have documented other examples of Shien’s exploitation and adultification of children including padded bras and see-through costumes. The company must be called out for pedo whistling."
So we decided to share the image on Facebook, Instagram, X(Twitter) and LinkedIn calling on all our supporters to contact SHEIN and demand they remove the item from their site.
Clearly this campaign struck a chord with many as we had hundreds of comments on our social media platforms.
"I have grave concerns about the mind of the person who thought these a good idea - I think they need help of some sort."
"What the actual! That’s disgusting"
"Yuck!! 🤮 This is all kinds of wrong. Actually makes me feel physically sick."
"Words fail at this sickness"
"SHEIN this is not a good look….."
"Shame on you SHEIN"
"SHEIN this is disgusting. I will be spreading this info to everyone I know so that your company is boycotted."
"I wrote a book about pornification of reality and this is the worst thing I've ever seen."
"This is not the first time. SHEIN have a history of sexualising girls. We must call this out!"Read more
We recently shared to Facebook the latest Bondage, Discipline, Dominance, Submission, Sadism, and Masochism (BDSM) style posters hanging in Honey Birdette's shop windows for school holidays. We intentionally added blurred sections across the chest and genital region before posting. As a campaigning movement it is important to our strategy that we alert supporters when there is an ad that needs calling out.
The post read:
Westfield partners with p*rn giant for back to school child grooming - take action!
Content warning - *we have censored the ad
Our Engagement Coordinator Coralie Alison spotted this graphic p*rn themed Honey Birdette ad at a Westfield shopping centre while back-to-school shopping with young children.
The Playboy-owned s*x shop window ad - labelled ‘Stephanie Black’ - features near naked women in cut-out bondage wear that exposes their genital region. One is topless, wearing nipple pasties.
The shopping centre is currently running kids’ school holiday activities and other promos enticing parents to come purchase children’s school supplies.
Last year Ad Standards upheld community complaints against a similar shop window ad for the ‘Stephanie’ bondage range.
*Take action: Tell Westfield to pull Honey Birdette’s BDSM-p*rn themed ad
Contact Westfield ANZ
Let us know if you get a response.
We then got alerted by Facebook that our post had violated their Community Standards on adult sexual solicitation. We were even warned that our account may be restricted or disabled.
Yet Honey Birdette's post (without blurring) was still able to be up on Facebook for anyone 13 and older to see.
We disagreed with Facebook's decision and asked for an appeal.
Our appeal was reviewed and our original post was found to not be in violation of Facebook's Community Standards and was reinstated.
We (a small charity challenging sexual exploitation) were targeted by Meta (a trillion dollar company) whilst Playboy owned sex shop Honey Birdette wasn't.
We have also lodged a complaint with Ad Standards and will update our supporters as soon as the Panel makes a determination. We encourage all community members concerned about the pornification of shop front window displays to write to their Shopping Centre management and to lodge their own complaint with Ad Standards. You can lodge a complaint here.Read more
*Update: The ads have been removed thanks to your rapid action. Scroll to bottom for details*
This week a teacher forwarded us a sponsored post by H&M where pre-teen girls were styled and posed in school fashion outfits and the headline ‘Make those heads turn in H&M’s Back to School fashion.'
After decades of working against the sexualisation of girls we were immediately concerned and took to social media to call them out.
Our Movement Director, Melinda Tankard Reist, first posted on X (formally twitter) and the response was overwhelming.
"The little girls parents generally prefer heads don’t ‘turn’ when others see their daughters walking to school, on a bus or in class. Why would you want to fuel the idea that little girls should draw attention to their looks, bodies and ‘style’? Perhaps have a word to your marketing team and come up with something that doesn’t draw attention to pre pubescent girls already struggling to thrive in a culture that values ‘lookism’ as an aspirational goal?" Tankard Reist said on Twitter.
People all around the world began to call H&M out for their harmful and irresponsible ad.Read more
Today we launched a campaign to force The Base Warehouse to remove a penis dummy from its stores.
Many supporters have taken action and called out this product which links babies and oral sex and contributes to a paedophilic aesthetic.
In part of its dismissive response, The Base Warehouse says “Sorry it is offends you” with a hand and heart emoticon.
This is not an issue of personal offence or taste. Our opposition is based on harm to children.
Researcher Rebecca Whisnant distinguishes between offence and harm. Offence is “something that happens in one’s head”, whereas harm is “an objective condition, not a way of feeling; to be harmed is to have one’s interests set back, to be made worse off, to have one’s circumstances made worse than they were....”
We have documented this creeping increase in associating children with sex for 15 years (for example https://www.smh.com.au/opinion/the-dark-world-of-paedophilia-exposed-20140413-zqu8v.html).
Attempts to paint those who object to products like this as easily offended, prudish or hung up is a deliberate tactic to silence those who might threaten company profits. It is also a way of avoiding engaging in meaningful discussions about how companies like this contribute to the sexualisation of babies and children.
We will not let The Base Warehouse reduce our advocacy for children as personal offence. We will continue to remind them of their social responsibility and not turn child sex offending into a gag.
Honey Birdette whip + paddle ad ruled "not strongly sexual"
*Content warningRead more
Yesterday we took to social media to ask CEO Jane Hastings to exercise corporate social responsibility and remove the p*rny image in the Rydges Gold Coast location mens toilets.
These types of situations and wins give me hope and encouragement that together we can take a stand and say no to the sexualisation, objectification and discrimination of wahine. We can work together towards a better future for our kids. Thanks Collective Shout" - Holly