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
In April this year, Collective Shout successfully defended our movement against legal threats from Sexpo Australia. The Federal Court in Brisbane dismissed an application brought against Collective Shout by Sexpo Limited, over a campaign by Collective Shout calling for the removal of porn ads from the sides of buses on which children travelled to school.
We are pleased to announce that our victory over Sexpo has been documented in Dignity, a journal on sexual exploitation and violence. You can read it here.
Update: Wish promises to remove child sex dolls from sale, but what about other replica body parts meant for men's sexual use?
Wish has responded in the comment thread on our Facebook post as follows:
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Content warning: This post contains content that may be distressing.
Budget shopping app Wish is selling a range of child sex dolls for men to simulate sexual abuse.
The dolls, which are designed to look like pre-teen girls, are often between 100 and 130 cm tall, with emphasis on their “flat chest”. They are deliberately posed in such a way as to emphasise their youth and innocence, shyly looking away from the camera and tilting their heads in a childlike way. Their vulnerability is accentuated in images of them sitting cross-legged on a bed in their knickers, or naked in the bath. There is a suggestion of sexuality, with singlet straps falling off shoulders, fingers lingering over mouths, or shorts pulled down to reveal themselves.
Product descriptions of the dolls emphasise how “real” they feel:
“Buying a sex doll can be a daunting task at first, but understanding the various types and benefits of each will make your decision easier. Sex dolls are made with natural, safe, real silicone so that each gorgeous girl feels real.”
Even sex dolls with large, porn-inspired out of proportion breasts still appear very childlike. One wears a cropped Pikachu t-shirt, from the cartoon Pokemon.
These items exist to aid users in their fantasies of raping children. The very sale of these dolls is an endorsement of paedophilia. Why is Wish promoting crimes of violence against children?
Wish is not an obscure website. Its Facebook page alone has almost 30 million followers. A major shopping app recommended for users aged 12 and above is profiting from the sale of child sex dolls. We cannot accept this.
Call to Action
Delete your Wish account.
Got an iPhone? Hop on the App Store and leave a review, or contact the App Store on Twitter.
If you have an Android phone, visit Google Play to leave a review or report the app, and contact them on Twitter.
Naomi, a 13-year-old Melbourne student, saw this large billboard advertising DFO with the catchline: ‘Starving for Style’. She knew it was wrong, and got her Mum to contact us.
''I knew it was wrong, because it was promoting anorexia, sending a message that you need to be skinny to be fashionable, which is obviously not true!'' Naomi told me.
We called on the company to exercise Corporate Social Responsibility. Our in-house eating disorder specialist Sarah McMahon pointed out the harmful impacts of trivialising what can be a life-threatening mental health condition by associating it with fashion and style.
24 hours later, the company apologised, claimed it was an 'error', and withdrew the billboard.
Growing numbers of young people are realising that they don't need to be passive victims of toxic cultural messages. They can be part of the change. Take Christie, 17, from Geelong Victoria, who writes:
''Today whilst listening to your talk, it was as though I was taking a step back and fully seeing the scale and magnitude of indoctrination and manipulation. Gender stereotypes and female exploitation have affected me and the people I know… I believe men are also victims of society’s conceptions and that their behaviours are partially due to their expected dominance / sense of entitlement. I would like to be part of the change, and I hope that I can help to spread this message to people in all aspects of my life. Thank you for dedicating your time and not being afraid to stand out.’’
Thank you to those of you who have given towards our end of financial year tax appeal. Since last Tuesday, we are over $5,500 closer to our target of $14,500.
Remember - a generous donor will match all donations received before June 30. Your $53 becomes $106 - doubling the impact. All donations over $2 are tax deductible.
Your gift today will help more young women like Naomi and Christie create cultural change in their lifetime.
Melinda Tankard Reist & the Collective Shout team
We are very pleased to report that we have successfully defended our movement against legal threats from Sexpo, with the Federal Court in Brisbane dismissing an application brought against Collective Shout by Sexpo Limited. Sexpo Limited was also ordered to pay Collective Shout’s costs.
It was in May 2017 that we were alerted to public buses servicing school routes in Perth that featured advertisements for Sexpo. The ads included the web address for one of their sponsors, a broadcaster of live streamed sex shows.
Ad Standards dismissed complaints and rejected our request for a review. Case Manager Nikki Paterson claimed that advertising live sex shows on the side of a bus was not a breach of the code. Our petition to prevent similar ads on Brisbane buses, due out the following month, attracted over 5000 signatures.
Sexpo’s lawyers threatened to sue Collective Shout for damages for “misleading and deceptive behaviour” under consumer law, citing social media posts by two staff members.
Sexpo claimed that Collective Shout was misleading because the bus ads promoting MyFreeCams.com did not share a url, and only included the words ‘My Free Cams’ with no .com to follow. They also denied that the image existed on a bus or any other physical medium. Take a look at a range of photographic evidence that proves otherwise:
In the weeks following the release of our petition, the ‘.com’ from the following billboard was blacked out:
Last month, The Honourable Justice Reeves dismissed Sexpo’s application against Collective Shout, concluding:
I do not consider Sexpo has established that it held a reasonable belief that it had suffered any harm to its commercial reputation as a consequence of Collective Shout’s alleged representations such that it may have a right to obtain relief in a claim against it. Sexpo’s application under r 7.23 must therefore be dismissed. I will order accordingly.
Justice Reeves also noted that Sexpo provided more than 500 pages of affidavit material in connection with their application, yet only three paragraphs were directly devoted to the existence of Sexpo’s belief about its right to obtain relief from Collective Shout, an argument ultimately rejected by the judge. Real the full judgment here.
The ruling against Sexpo is a significant victory- not just for Collective Shout and our supporters, but for all those who support the rights of children to live free from pornography. The sex industry in Australia has been permitted to target children with advertising for pornography and prostitution in public spaces for too long, and we are more committed than ever to stand up for the rights of children.
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 congratulate Amazon today for removing the anatomically correct child sex dolls that have been for sale on its website. The sale of such dolls and similar material has earned Amazon a spot on the National Center’s Dirty Dozen List for the past two years.Read more
A mother has won a battle against teen clothing company Missguided who were promoting child sexual abuse imagery in their shop. A recent blog published by Elizabeth Johnston an Activist Vlogger from theactivistmom.com who educates about current events and topics that are important to families shares the following:
You know it’s a sick world we live in when you can’t even take your kids out to buy clothes without them being sexualized.
Clothing company “Missguided” came under fire recently for posting a sign on the wall of several of its UK shops that read “send me nudes.”
Yup, in an age where the sexualization of children must be guarded against every single day, “Missguided” – which also operates in the U.S.– just had to take things a step further and literally encourage the creation and distribution of child sexual abuse imagery.
Clarks removal of “Dolly Babe” demonstrates the power of speaking up. Your voice matters and as a collective, we can end sexploitation of women and girls.
The well-known British shoe brand, Clarks, came under fire after naming a pair of girls’ shoes “Dolly Babe” and a pair of boys’ shoes “Leader”, enabling sexist stereotypes. Clarks are withdrawing the school shoe for girls called “Dolly Babe” after it provoked accusations of sexism, however, the equivalent version for boys called “Leader” have not been removed. Despite Clarks choice to keep “Leader”, their actions demonstrate successful corporate responsibility and accountability.
Kids play centre Bounce has withdrawn sexualised music videos from their centres after body image activist Taryn Brumfitt wrote a blog post expressing her frustration at children being bombarded with sexist and sexually objectifying imagery while at the centre.Read more