No Seatbelts? Bad! Objectifying women? Who Cares
A few days ago I posted on the Brut ads which feature a group of boys ogling a woman, as part of the ‘Brut code’ to ‘spot and share’.
I also commented on ‘lads ads’ on the Channel 7 Morning Show Friday, saying that Brut was brutally sexist and was reclaiming sexism as something that should be considered cool. The ads contributed to socialising boys to see girls and young women in sexually objectifying ways – as catering for their sexual fantasies. I argued the Brut ads helped undermine the global movement for women’s equality.
Well now the ad has been banned by the Advertising Standards Board.
Which we should be celebrating right?
That would be the case, had the Board ruled that the ads were objectifying and demeaning to women. But it didn’t. In its ruling, the Board:
“…expressed concern about the man seen sitting on the rear shelf of the vehicle and the man in the boot of the car. The Board considered that as the vehicle is depicted in motion the depiction of the person in the boot and the person sitting on the car rather than in a seat is a depiction of material that does breach community standards on safety in vehicles and safe driving.”
So, vehicle safety is more important than how women are treated.
The decision is reminiscent of a recent UK decision about Diesel “Be Stupid” ads, which I mentioned here. The ad watchdog there ruled against them – not because they were sexist, but because they might encourage copy-cat behavior.
Read Mumbrella’s account of the ASB’s decision on Brut here. Note the comment: “Isn’t it time we all went back to basics and concentrated on making great ads that sell products!?!?!” Because that’s what’s really important, not all this carry-on about the right of women to be seen as more than their sexual allure.