Chloe Sweet | Contributing Writer | Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Another Advert Has Been Banned For Objectifying Women

Another Advert Has Been Banned For Objectifying Women

The Debrief: We've all heard the expression 'sex sells' - but where do we draw the line?

We all would have hoped that by 2017, people would realise that objectifying women is just not okay. Simple, right? However unfortunately, it still seems to be a running theme in advertisements. In 2011, A Lynx deodorant advert featuring glamour model, Lucy Pinder, was banned for degrading women. In 2015, a Kazam TV ad for the ‘World’s Slimmest Phone’ was also banned for presenting women as sex objects. And it doesn’t end there, as this week, an advert for Femfresh was banned in the UK after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received 17 complaints concerning how women were being represented.

According to The Independent, The ASA reportedly received more than 37,000 complaints in 2015 about the way women were stereotyped and sexualised in adverts shown in the UK – and they had to ban or force changes to almost 3,500 ads in total. 

Surely the brands that make these adverts know how harmful they are, particularly to young women. Sexualised ads like these reinforce a dangerous idea that a woman’s body should be absolutely perfect – and there for the taking. Wouldn’t it be so much better for companies to create adverts that promoted the empowerment of women, and showcased their power and intellect, instead of objectifying them?

The complaints described the Femfresh ad as ‘over-sexualised’, and it was deemed ‘socially irresponsible’ – and I can see why.  

They were advertising a post-shaving balm to smooth out your bikini line - and it was supposed to appeal to women who are aged 18-34. It looked to me like they’d taken the idea from Eric Prydz’s, Call On Me video. 

The ad featured women wearing swimwear - but don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with seeing women in their swimwear on my TV. But in this instance, it was uncomfortable to watch. It was downright sleazy, actually. 

The ASA said: 'Even taking into account the nature of the product, we considered that it had been presented in an overly sexualised way that objectified women.

'We concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence and therefore breached the code.'

I’ve heard the expression ‘sex sells’, but where do we draw the line?

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Tags: Feminism