How Long Will Adland Tolerate Large Breasts In Campaigns?

How Long Will Adland Tolerate Large Breasts In Campaigns?
SHARE
THIS



In The Thicket managing director, Stephan Renard, says too many brands get the idea of “sexy” and “sexism” mixed-up in their brand message. And, in this opinion piece, he argues it will be to a brand’s detriment for those who continue to deliver the wrong message.

The last few weeks as I’ve ridden my motorbike to work in Sydney I’ve regularly got stuck behind a bus sporting the latest campaign for the Bavarian Bier Cafe. And each time I’m transfixed, but not on what the ad wants me to be. Quite the opposite, actually – I’m perplexed by the proclamation that this is the modern woman, like: ‘We’ve taken this Bavarian woman, and modernised her. You can tell because she now wears a push-up bra and you can see her bellybutton.” Is this the modern woman we want to advertise to the modern man?


Why do brands still over-sexualise woman, and why do we still accept it, when gender equity is on the agenda of most businesses and governments around the world; it’s part of their values and commitment.

More than 971 business leaders around the world have demonstrated leadership on gender equality through the Women’s Empowerment Principles. The Westpac website states gender equity “is not about ideology, numbers or political correctness – this is a serious economic and business opportunity”.

Looking inward, it’s working. Among Fortune 500 companies, firms with the highest representation of women board directors outperformed those with the least.
Looking outward, it makes sense. Women are the largest emerging market in the world. Over the next decade, they will wield enormous influence over politics, sport, business and society. By the year 2028, women will control close to 75 per cent of discretionary spending worldwide. Women own about a third of all businesses in the world, and nearly half of those businesses are in developing markets.

So with women the largest growing market, if it’s important for business, shouldn’t it be for brands? Brands are owned by businesses. And yet some businesses persist with a skewed representation of the modern woman.

I appreciate the Bavarian Bier Café ad targets men, but how about the recent UK campaign by Protein World, a dietary supplement who targeted British women in the lead up to Summer by asking “Are you Beach Body Ready?” with an image of a skinny, bikini-clad model. Many women were offended.

London citizens quickly graffiti-ed them with body-positive messages while an online petition to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the company was “directly targeting individuals, aiming to make them feel physically inferior to the unrealistic body image of the bronzed model, in order to sell their product.”

The ad was eventually banned in the UK by the ASA, despite its intended short run which cost of £250,000. It felt like a pretty big misstep by the company. However, Protein World claims the backlash added to the direct sales of revenue by around £1m, according to Business Insider.

But that’s not the end. In New York’s Time Square the company erected the same billboard banking on a similar result, with a rollout across public transport to come. Richard Stavely, the company’s marketing chief told Adweek: “It’s a big middle finger to everybody who bothered to sign that stupid petition in the UK. You could say that the London protesters helped pay for the New York campaign.”

Such blatant insulting first, and then trolling of its intended market seems at odds with marketing in general. And yet it worked because on a base level it was saying ‘you need this.’ We might hope that a female CMO wouldn’t let that campaign through… but the numbers seem to stack up.

According to behavioural scientist Adam Ferrier, in developing markets such as China, India and Indonesia “brands still play an aspirational role”.

These three nations are the first, second and fourth most populated countries in the world, yet according to the World Economic Forum, China is rated 87th, Indonesia is 97th and India is 114th on the recently released 2014 Gender Gap Report that measures gender-based disparity.

Unfortunately, The World Economic Forum suggests we’ll have to wait 80 years for gender parity in the workplace worldwide. Does that mean 80 more years of aspirational advertising?

I’m not suggesting the Protein World model is perfect, or for that matter anyone less toned to be imperfect, but hopefully we continue to reflect reality, the unbiased and imperfect in our advertising, with equality in our representation of the genders, rather than with the aspirational, sexist and tired approach.

Latest News

Masculinity Roasted In Clever New Ad
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Masculinity Roasted In Clever New Ad

Think masculinity means drinking a case without chundering? Well, rediscover it (& possibly yourself) with this top ad.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
WPP AUNZ Partners With Career Trackers Indigenous Internship Program
  • Advertising

WPP AUNZ Partners With Career Trackers Indigenous Internship Program

Advertising and marketing network WPP AUNZ has joined the Career Trackers Indigenous Internship Program as part of its commitment to a diverse workforce, and the creation of opportunities that inspire excellence. As part of the program, WPP AUNZ has welcomed its first three interns: Abi-Leigh Dillon (WPP AUNZ), Amy Mccutcheon (MediaCom) and Jacinta Evans (Ogilvy), […]

Taboo Goes On A Hiring Spree
  • Advertising

Taboo Goes On A Hiring Spree

Taboo has gone a hiring spree. And when it comes to sprees, that's far better than a shooting one or a farting one.

Luke Kelly Becomes A Partner At HBT
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Luke Kelly Becomes A Partner At HBT

B&T's not sure what's with that twirly thing in the press photo, suffice to say a vortex to an alternate dimension?

Women In Media Profile: Alison Michalk
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Alison Michalk

If B&T's Women in Media profiles were an animal they would be a gazelle or lioness, or even a lioness eating a gazelle.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Grant Broadcasters Makes Several Changes To Senior Executive Team
  • Media

Grant Broadcasters Makes Several Changes To Senior Executive Team

Independent media company Grant Broadcasters has announced a number of changes to its executive ranks. Grant Cameron will move up to become non-executive chairman for the company, and Alison Cameron (pictured above) – currently the chief operating officer – will assume the CEO role. Dugald Cameron remains responsible for the family’s investment portfolio and is […]

Shopper Media Group Partners With Mist To Offer New Tech & AI-Driven Capabilities
  • Advertising
  • Media

Shopper Media Group Partners With Mist To Offer New Tech & AI-Driven Capabilities

Australian retail out-of-home (OOH) business Shopper Media Group (SMG) has announced a partnership with AI-powered wireless networks provider Mist. The partnership will see SMG offer new WiFi, analytics and location-based services across the company’s portfolio of Australian shopping centres. Mist currently provides WiFi and location services using virtual Bluetooth LE technology to businesses across all […]

Indy Agency This Is Flow Wins Cruiseco’s $5 Million Media Account
  • Advertising
  • Media

Indy Agency This Is Flow Wins Cruiseco’s $5 Million Media Account

Travel organisation Cruiseco has announced the appointment of Sydney independent agency This is Flow (TIF) to handle its $5 million media account. This is the first time Cruiseco has appointed an agency, having managed its communications internally. Cruiseco is the largest and broadest distributor of cruise products in the Southern Hemisphere. With a membership base […]

Women In Media Profile: Naomi Shepherd
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Naomi Shepherd

Need a Monday morning pick-me-up? You could stand naked next to the office fridge or read these inspiring words.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
APN Outdoor Takes Off With Queenstown Airport Contract
  • Advertising
  • Media

APN Outdoor Takes Off With Queenstown Airport Contract

Out-of-home media business APN Outdoor has won the tender for New Zealand’s Queenstown Airport. As part of the new agreement, APN Outdoor has flagged extensive development plans for Queenstown Airport’s advertising assets. The new contract adds Queenstown Airport to APN Outdoor’s existing portfolio of Auckland and Christchurch Airports. The media company will hire a South […]

Havas Secures Exclusive ‘Fight Of Champions’ Broadcast Rights With Foxtel For Australia & NZ
  • Media

Havas Secures Exclusive ‘Fight Of Champions’ Broadcast Rights With Foxtel For Australia & NZ

Havas Sports & Entertainment ANZ, a division of the broader global full-service agency Havas, has confirmed an exclusive deal with Foxtel to showcase the World Boxing Association (WBA) Welterweight Championship across the trans-Tasman. Billed as the ‘Fight of Champions’, Manny Pacquiao and Lucas Matthysse will square off for the WBA Welterweight belt this Sunday. Havas […]

The Question On Everybody’s Lips At Cannes: How Did Tesco Win The Grand Prix Media Lion?
  • Media
  • Opinion

The Question On Everybody’s Lips At Cannes: How Did Tesco Win The Grand Prix Media Lion?

In this guest post, PHD’s Chloe Hooper (pictured below) analyses the campaign that claimed top honours in the Media category at Cannes this year. I sat in the auditorium as the Cannes Media Lion winners for 2018 were awarded. One thing became instantly clear to me: it is all about taking home Gold or the Grand Prix. […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
MINI Australia Showcases New ‘Connected’ Vehicles Via Vizeum & Posterscope
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

MINI Australia Showcases New ‘Connected’ Vehicles Via Vizeum & Posterscope

An integrated campaign by Vizeum Melbourne for MINI Australia’s new ‘Connected’ vehicles will see digital out-of-home (DOOH) served via Posterscope’s Liveposter platform. Delivered centrally, the campaign will showcase the flexible qualities DOOH provides via multiple creatives targeted with specific data overlays such as location, traffic, time of day, and weather triggers such as rain. The […]

Women In Media Profile: Lisa Sheehan
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Lisa Sheehan

The delightful Lisa Sheehan straps into B&T's "cage of truth" we actually prefer to call our Women in Media profiles.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
News Corp, Storyful & Fox Sports Join Forces To Support AIME Hoodie Day
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing
  • Media

News Corp, Storyful & Fox Sports Join Forces To Support AIME Hoodie Day

News Corp Australia, Storyful and Fox Sports have joined forces in support of 2018 AIME Hoodie Day with a creative advertising, PR, social media and editorial campaign across print, digital, and broadcast media. Fox League presenter Hannah Hollis (pictured above) fronts the AIME Hoodie Day campaign, conceptualised, designed and created by News Corp’s trade marketing […]