The Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) has dismissed complaints about a TV ad for Nestle’s Sweetened Condensed Milk which depicts a man wearing an apron in a kitchen baking.
One complainant said they found the ad “very sexist”, as it was using a man in a sexual manner to promote a product, which, had the roles been reversed, “would not be acceptable”.
Others suggested there were double standards within the advertising industry, with one saying “society seems to think it’s fine to objectify men in a sexual sense”.
The ad shows actor Nick Harrington dressed in what appears only an apron in a kitchen baking. Upon turning on the electric mixer, Harrington is splattered with condensed milk.
See the ad below.
The ad was created by Publicis Mojo and first aired the week of May 7, 2015.
As per the ASB’s report on the case, which was dismissed June 10 this year, Nestle’s response said it didn’t believe it had breached standards or ethics.
Nestle said it had wanted to take the non-traditional approach to baking and depict a male baker, and yet still have the product appeal to women.
It said it wanted to engage with its core audience – “women who bake 2-3 times a week – in a humorous and off-beat manner”.
Section 2.2 of the Code of Ethics says: “Advertising or marketing communications should not employ sexual appeal in a manner which is exploitative and degrading of any individual or group of people.” The Board found this ad did not breach this section. While noting some may find the ad exploitative, the Board’s view is that the man was “clearly empowered and is not presented in a manner which is degrading to men”.
Section 2.4 of the Code of Ethics states that an advertiser shall treat sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity to the relevant audience. The ASB determined this ad did not breach this section of the Code.
When the ad was first released, Richenda Vermeulen, CEO and founder of digital agency ntegrity, told B&T the ad took the easy way out.
“It’s not witty or brave – it’s lazy,” she said. “Taking the easy option and resting on the laurels of outdated stereotypes to market a product. It underestimates the intellect of the consumer and what motivates them. It’s not creative and doesn’t connect with matters to parents across Australia on mothers day.
“Is this really what Nestle stands for? They now have an Carl’s Junior equivalent targeted at the female demographic.”
A new report shows the need for brands and organisations to rethink their approaches to marketing and communications content in a post-pandemic world. The new report, titled Future of Content and part of opr’s Futures series, takes an in-depth look at the changing way audiences find, consume, make and share content in Australia and around the […]
Are Media has announced the appointment of a new chief executive officer to replace Brendon Hill. Jane Huxley is the new CEO and starts with Are Media on Monday 26 April. Huxley is a highly experienced executive with a background in digital and technology businesses. Most recently Huxley was the regional managing director for Spotify, […]
Expedia has announced a new brand direction as the world prepares for the return of travel demand. The online travel giant’s new global positioning is grounded in the understanding that who you travel with matters, and comes after months of customer research. From an updated look and feel to enhanced product offerings, Expedia is looking […]
Equity Mates Media, the number one finance and investing network for young Australians, has joined the Acast Creator Network. Its five podcasts, which are some of Australia’s favourites, will now be hosted and distributed by the creator-first podcast company Acast. Equity Mates Media was created to give everyday people the inspiration, information and confidence to […]
After an unprecedented year of challenges, iStock research has shown that Australians and New Zealanders are increasingly expecting businesses to communicate with greater empathy, both in terms of a brand’s language as well as its visuals. Celebrated globally on April 22, Earth Day presents a timely opportunity for businesses to put empathy into practice, iStock […]
Pinterest and Shopify have announced the expansion of their partnership to 27 additional countries. The partnership will provide more than 1.7 million Shopify merchants around the world with an easy way to bring their products to Pinterest and turn them into shoppable Product Pins to be discoverable across the platform. With the evolution of the […]