The Advertising Standards Board (ASB) has ruled in favour of several complaints against Ultra Tune Australia’s adverts “avoid unexpected situations” for its sexist depiction of women and for trivialising car safety.
Check out the 30 second and 15 second ads and see what you think:
Some of the complaints included:
- In the unexpected ad, two women are portrayed in a stereotyped “bimbo” manner, driving and pouting their enhanced lips….Level crossing accidents claim lives and this trivialises the risk.
- I am offended that in 2016 it is still deemed appropriate to try and sell something using suggestively or scantily clad, artificially big busted women.
- Completely inappropriate for daytime TV due to the explicit content of seeing two women apparently being killed in an accident when a train crashes into them and then walking away from the crash.
- I feel the ad is derogatory towards woman – portraying females as stupid and only good for one thing.
- It is making light of a very serious and real situation where people have lost their lives. Although at the end of the advertisement the women survive, the reality of the situation is that this is an unlikely outcome if it were to actually happen.
An Ultra Tune representative commented on the complaints:
“The actors are fully clothed wearing evening street clothing that is common in today’s society. The whole advertisement is depicted at dusk and night / evening time, when it is common for women to be in such attire.
“We note a number of complaints have referred to the actors in a derogative way, based upon their appearance which is a personal bias. In other environments (such as a workplace or school yard), such derogative comments based upon appearance could be considered harassment and bullying.
“The final scene was designed to emphasise the female empowerment with them confidently walking away from the vehicle without harm.”
The ASB ruled that the ads violated section 2.1 of the Advertiser Code of Ethics- Discrimination or Vilification Gender. “The Board considered that the women are depicted as unintelligent in the way in which they sit passively, with blank faces, in the car on the train tracks and also in the way they appear to not notice the oncoming train.
“This behaviour, in the Board’s view, makes the women appear unintelligent and presents them in a stereotypical helpless female situation. In the Board’s view, the depiction of the women’s reaction to their situation is a negative depiction of women and does amount to vilification of women.”
In response Ultra Tune Australia discontinued the ad but it intends to seek an independent review of the Board’s decision: “We advise for the record that our client views the Board’s decision that the Advertisement provides “a negative depiction of women and does amount to vilification of women” as without foundation and intends to vigorously dispute these findings”.