The Ultra Tune brand has become synonymous with misogyny and sexist portrayals of women in its advertising over many years. We have documented the company’s use of degrading gender stereotypes, its vilification of women resulting in multiple Ad Standards’ rulings against it and the engagement of known perpetrators of sexual assault and domestic violence in the production of its ads.
Ultra Tune's sexist ads were broadcast during the Australian Open, including the women's matches, serving to undermine the public's celebration of women in elite sport.
Last month, we wrote to Craig Tiley, CEO of Tennis Australia and Tournament Director for the Australian Open, who is also a Male Champion of Change to "end everyday sexism", and asked him to inform Channel 9 that he did not want Ultra Tune to be represented as a sponsor of his tennis-related events. We have not received a response.
Click here to read the full letter.
Ultra Tune has launched its latest "unexpected situations" TV ad to advertise its roadside assistance service. The ad, a knock-off of 1990’s action drama Baywatch, opens with Warwick Capper ogling Pamela Anderson who starred in the series from 1992-1997.
This is the latest in a long series of Ultra Tune ads routinely depicting women as vacuous, incompetent and sexually objectified for men’s entertainment.
Collective Shout was inundated with complaints about the ad and have compiled a list of reasons to boycott Ultra Tune.
Women whose cars break down- especially at night or in regional locations- don’t feel secure knowing some employee whose company oozes sexism is the one turning up to help.Read more
Corporate Sexploitation Offenders of 2019
Give these sexist companies a miss this Christmas!
Each year in the lead up to Christmas we release our annual blacklist of corporate offenders - companies which have objectified women and sexualised girls to sell their products and services during the year. Our supporters use this list as a guide to inform their desire to spend their money ethically.
There is even more evidence now of the harms of these portrayals of women and girls. And far greater awareness of the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Many companies spout their supposed commitment to confronting sexism and promoting women’s empowerment and equality, while at the same time profiting from sexist marketing and products, as we have documented over and over.
You can send a strong message to these companies that you won’t tolerate these double standards, will vote with your wallet and refuse to financially support brands that profit from these demonstrably harmful practices. If they don’t understand ethics, perhaps they will understand when they start losing money.
At number one in our line-up, sex shop Honey Birdette routinely plasters its shopfronts with porn-themed representations of women in so called ‘family friendly’ shopping centres. To date, Ad Standards has investigated 66 Honey Birdette ads, upholding complaints in 38 cases. Honey Birdette refuses to play by the rules and our self-regulatory body has shown itself powerless to do anything about it. At time of writing, 76,000 individuals have signed a petition calling on the company to change their ways. Honey Birdette employees also describe a toxic workplace culture of sexual harassment and bullying, including being expected to use their sexuality to secure sales and pressured to tolerate sexual harassment and intimidation from male customers.
These major shopping centres continue to host Honey Birdette’s porn-themed advertising, facilitating the display of sexist and sexually objectifying content to an all-age audience. It might be challenging to avoid all these shopping centres, but we encourage supporters to do all they can to obtain gifts elsewhere and boycott children’s activities including pics with Santa which, as we’ve documented, are often held in close proximity to Honey Birdette. Click here to see the full list of shopping centres.
Myer routinely displays hyper-sexualised advertising in their perfume department. Some brands that objectify women in their advertising are Viktor & Rolf, Frank Body, Dior, Paco Rabanne and Narciso Rodriguez.
Australian make-up and skincare brand Frank Body routinely sexually objectifies women in their advertising, using sleazy double entendres and innuendo from their male persona ‘Frank’ about getting naked and dirty. The company dismissed concerns from a group of Melbourne teenage girls who objected to their sexist ‘Send Nudes’ lip tint, normalising and trivialising girls’ experiences of sexual harassment. Give this brand a miss.
We reached out to Mecca CEO Jo Horgan asking the company to withdraw Frank Body ‘Send Nudes’ lip tint, which normalises and legitimises the everyday sexual harassment experienced by teen girls. Our various approaches were all met with silence and Mecca continues to stock and profit from Frank Body products, despite their ongoing sexual objectification of women. Shop elsewhere this Christmas.
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. By stocking Playboy branded products Chemist Warehouse is profiting from the mainstreaming, normalising and embedding of a major brand of the sex industry into mainstream culture.
Online marketplace Amazon has a long history of stocking sexually exploitative products and this year the global giant hasn’t been any better. We first called them out in 2010 when they were selling “The Paedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure: A child-lover’s code of conduct”. Since then we have exposed Amazon selling pro-rape and pro-paedophilia merchandise, child sex dolls, and this year, rape and incest-themed books. Enough is enough- boycott Amazon this festive season.
Vietnamese restaurant chain Roll’d provided promotional t-shirts for young staff to wear with the slogan “Hot Noods”, exploiting staff and exposing young women to sexual harassment. Have your work Christmas party somewhere else this year.
General Pants has a long history of using sexual exploitation to sell products, from change rooms plastered with pornographic imagery, live pole dancing displays, and a series of very large sexist shop front ads featuring young women in bikinis alongside slogans such as “Wet dreams” and “Slippery when wet”. Get your pants from a sexism-free shop.
This year we announced a victory in our decade-long campaign against Wicked Campers and their sexist and degrading slogans promoting rape and murder. Finally, state transport ministers signed an agreement to deregister vans carrying slogans like this. But - given they had to be forced to change after years of recalcitrance - you can still send them a message by refusing to rent Wicked Camper vans for any holidays travels.
While we’re on cars, UltraTune has attracted hundreds of complaints over their sexist ads, depicting women as mindless bimbos who can’t operate their vehicles. The company continues to show their contempt for women by hiring high-profile men with histories of rape and physical violence against women to star in their ads, including Mike Tyson and Charlie Sheen. Get your car serviced somewhere else this season.
This Melbourne based restaurant has designed its name and logo around the Pornhub website. The site hosts spy cam footage of women and girls, videos of men performing sex acts in front of teenagers in public and ‘creep shot’ videos of school girls.
So where can you shop?
Looking for some positive alternatives? Check out the companies which have signed our Corporate Responsibility Pledge not to objectify women and sexualise girls in their advertising, products and services. Do you know of any others? Let us know in the comments.Read more
Collective Shout calls for stronger ad code of ethics to rein in harmful sexist advertising
Collective Shout has made a submission to the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) Code of Ethics Review. In this long-needed review, we highlighted the failings of the advertising self-regulatory system and the weaknesses of the existing Code. We also documented the growing body of evidence demonstrating the real-life harms of sexually objectifying portrayals of women.
We highlighted the double-standards of governments investing in violence-prevention initiatives while failing to address cultural drivers that normalizes – and even eroticises – this mistreatment:
While there is increasing recognition of issues related to violence against women, there is at the same time an increasing pornification of public space. Members of the public - including children - are conducting life’s activities against a backdrop of sexualised images that objectify and demean women.
We also drew on recommendations from our submission to the AHRC Inquiry into Workplace Harassment, noting that sexualised imagery in advertising creates a hostile workplace environment and increases the likelihood of workplace sexual harassment. We stated:
[N]o Australian worker should be excluded from protections against sexual harassment in the workplace regardless of the fact that their employment duties are carried out in public spaces. It is a discredit to the advertising industry that people - women and girls in particular - are experiencing sexual harassment as a direct result of its failing system.
Just this week the AHRC released findings which underscored the importance of our recommendations to the AHRC inquiry and AANA review. The AHRC survey – conducted with the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA) union - found that 'four per cent of workers had been sexually harassed because of an inappropriate marketing campaign by a retailer..[W]hen retailers did have a suggestive campaign, it led to one in five of their workers being sexually harassed'. (We have pointed out risks to women in previous ad campaigns, for example the time General Pants required staff to wear ‘I Love Sex’ badges).
We noted the inadequacy of the Code and its practice notes in the consideration of minors, that while these account for the way children are portrayed in advertising, they do not give proper attention to the way minors in the audience perceive advertising, or to the harms that ensue. We recommended that:
In the same way the Industry Practice Note prohibits the portrayal of minors in a sexualised way, it should also prohibit the exposure of minors to sexualised and sexually objectifying portrayals of others - particularly women - in advertising.
We further pointed out the inadequacies of the Code that accommodate the Ad Standards Community Panel's dismissal of complaints against porn-themed ads on the basis that the model "appears confident" or "in control", or due to stylistic elements like pixelation (to blur body parts) and flashing (where an ad is shown as a sequence of still images rotated at speed, rather than as a single, still image). We noted that such elements do not detract from the sexualised features of an ad and may actually enhance them.
Earlier this week, new research was released on community perceptions of gender portrayals in advertising which confirmed the normalising of sexist, degrading representations of women in advertising. This research supports the view we have held since we formed: that community welfare needs to come before the vested interests of the advertising industry.
Read our full submission here.
At my last public engagement of 2018, after the other boys had left the gym where I had presented, a young man approached me. Hesitantly, hands in pockets, tears pooling in his eyes, the 16-year-old said: "I have done those things to girls you talked about. I don't want to be that kind of man. I want to change. How can I make up for what I've done wrong?" The acknowledgement of his guilt, his desire to make amends, moved me deeply. Tim and I talked a while longer. I understood his desire to change was real.Read more
Well UltraTune are at it again. Another year, another sexist ad campaign airing during the Australian Open, and viewers aren't happy. Continuing with their theme of 'Unexpected Situations' the 7th ad in the series is just as cringeworthy as the previous ones. The latest instalment features serial abuser Charlie Sheen and Warwick Capper *Insert eyeroll*. In 2018 UltraTune's ad featured rapist and woman basher Mike Tyson. Can you see a theme?Read more
Our annual list of corporate offenders who don’t deserve your Xmas dollar!
As our loyal supporters know each year in the lead up to Christmas, we release our annual blacklist of corporate offenders- companies that have objectified women and sexualised girls to sell their products and services throughout the year.
You can send a message to these companies by voting with your wallet and refusing to financially support brands that rely on sexploitation to sell their products.Read more
And now he's Ultratune's new front man, Charlie sheenRead more
Car parts and services chain Ultra Tune have a long history of sexually exploitative advertising. From rubber-clad dominatrix women brandishing whips and feigning arousal at the sight of tyres, to countless ads perpetuating sexist stereotypes of women as ‘dumb blondes’ who can’t operate their vehicles and who accidentally drive off of cliffs, Ultra Tune has attracted a massive amount of complaints, from men and women.Read more