Remember that appalling Just Jeans ad of the woman playing a golf tournament in a mini skirt? Well, the geniuses at the Advertising Standards Board have dismissed complaints lodged about the ad. Read the determination here.
How on earth did the ASB determine that “the majority of the community would view the advertisement as being humorous and agreed with the Advertiser’s remarks”?
I know some pretty normal woman who aren’t hairy legged man-haters who find this ad pretty damn demeaning. So do I.
Check out the high profile people on the ASB Board here.
Blokes like Geoff Lawson, John Brown, John Konrads, Roy Masters and Thomas Keneally obviously think it is just fine to demean women like this. But do women like Catherine Lumby and Emma Tom really agree?
Is self-regulation in the advertising industry working – are they reflecting community standards? I’m stepping up my involvement in Crikey’s editorial positions going forward so it’s time to put the blowtorch on the ASB and the advertising industry generally.
Send your thoughts and insights through to
The feedback has been coming in thick and fast. Get a life and a sense of humour seems to be a recurring theme but there is the occasional email of support. I like this one the best.
Dear Mrs Crikey,
I have to say that I feel quite uncomfortable about that particular golfing ad. I am by no means a hairy man-hating feminist, but that ad makes me feel demeaned. It is almost soft porn, which is disturbing, as this ad is aiming at the young men and women who shop at Just Jeans. What message are they trying to send?
“Buy our skirts – they’re so short that crowds of men will stand around you waiting to see a flash of your clacker”?
I definitely don’t think self-regulation is working.
Thanks for listening,
A typical ‘get a sense of humour’ response
I thought the mini-skirt ad was pretty funny. Don’t you understand that it is tongue in cheek?
The whole point of the thing is that yes, it is outrageously sexist. That is what makes it funny – parody by extremism.
The “cougar ad” is similar – the one where the guy waiting in line at the bar forgets his drink order and orders “5 cougars please” when faced with “Cougar” blazened across a double-D chest. But that one is “demeaning” to men as well, clearly sending the message that we all just think with our dicks. Let’s all jump up and down and scream about it and complain about stereotypes of men shall we? Or maybe we should just treat it for what it is – a funny parody.
You claim not to be a hairy-legged man-hater, but you’d sit well in their ranks with your lack of humour.
The no censorship campaigner
It’s a free country Paula … or it should be. Why is there an ad standards council in the first place? The standard for advertising is whether it works.
If you want to stop sexist ads, don’t ban them, mobilise to make sure they don’t work.
Vote with your feet and don’t buy the product. Write to the client and tell them they’ve lost a customer. By all means organise a campaign and protest on TV or out the front of the shop.
But for heavens sake, why BAN the ads? I dislike the amount of official interference in the media, whether it’s advertising standards, film censorship, newspaper/magazine classifications, the new ASIO powers, and even the ridiculous defamation laws. It’s time we grew up.
Part of the price of living in a free country is being exposed to material we don’t like. We should embrace the fact that such material can be produced and shown, at the same time as we actively campaign to have the client withdraw it. But the more we rely on government bodies, tribunals, councils and such like to act as gatekeepers, the more we strip ourselves of our freedom.
CRIKEY: A little too simplistic maybe? We don’t all have time to write to manufacturers, organise campaigns and picket shop fronts. There’s playgroup, coffee and cake catch-ups and the latest movie to attend which all take far greater precedence.
But some altruistic people have given the community their time for the greater good. Angela Dennis is running a campaign against the Gilette ”Dufour” deodarant ad featuring four bikini clad women with the slogan “Why do one?”, “Dufour”. You can contact her at mailto:[email protected]
The debate expands to Car and Alcohol Advertisements
Whilst the board seems to be a good mix of Australians, do they ever have the guts to actually do anything useful?
Car advertisements that promote speed particularly annoy me, especially the one with the ute on the salt lake. We have seen so many young people die here recently in high powered cars, the ad is obscene.
How does one complain?
If they were to dismiss a complaint like mine, then they should all be sacked and replaced by a bunch of crusty old conservatives.
Self-regulation is no regulation
One of my favourite topics (don’t get me started on 4 wheel drives in the metro area!).
All you need to do to see that self regulation is no regulation is to read the advertising standards code (I haven’t read it for a few years admittedly) and be prepared to laugh when you come to alcohol.
It says almost in these words I think, “that alcohol advertising shall not imply that the product contributed to social or sexual success”.
I’m struggling to find a mass product alcohol ad that doesn’t claim one or both. Cougar springs to mind!
Let’s not forget about the portrayal of men
Dear Mrs Crikey,
I thought the advertisement in question was making fun of men rather than women. Just to check, I’ve called a few women friends and they thought the same thing. If anything it’s demeaning to men!
EDITOR: Keep emailing a rather punch-drunk Mrs Crikey at Paula @ crikey.com.au as she’s got to get used to this sort of robust debate in her new elevated role.