I saw this advertisement today while I was walking downtown:
I know that everyone has their own levels of offense when it comes to advertising, but how is it okay that in the year 2011, it is still acceptable to use such a ridiculously sexist, objectifying picture and tagline for a product? Women make up more than half the population, so how it okay to make them a joke in order to sell a product to everyone else? Is this one of those things that if I find it offensive, I’m marking myself as a humourless man-hater?
I wrote to the guy who owns the store and told him that I thought it was a pretty gross image and that I did not understand why he thought it made good business sense to mock half of his potential clientele. I pointed out that he would hardly put up an image of a Downs Syndrome child and use the tagline, “You would have to be thick not to use our servers”. His response:
Thanks for your comments…
To date, we have only had three emails relating to our campaign (yours is one). However, before we started it, we did undertake a fair bit of research, the advert was shown to around 450 people last month on two of the main shopping streets in Newcastle City Centre before it was installed, they varied in age from 20 to 60, approximately 35% were men and 65% were women, almost 97% found the advert was not offensive and was actually quite humorous. The current campaign is also featured in national trade press who accepted the advert without any problems..
The research was conducted independently. In addition, we did seek advice from the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority).
The advert in the window is scheduled to change on a monthly basis, next month it features a man and the month after a couple.
As for as your comments about Downs Syndrome, I find them deeply offensive, I have a family member with the condition.
So is it true that women are the one group of people that it is completely okay to use as a punchline? Why are so few people upset by this throwback to the early twentieth century?