The Advertising Standards Board has dismissed complaints that claimed a Facebook ad, in which Weis is promoting its new Lemon Delicious Frozen Yoghurt bar (which by the way, is in fact delicious), is both discriminatory and gender vilifying.
The ad shows the bar wearing a dress made from a modified wrapper and a tag line that reads, ‘There’s a new tart in town’.
The post was made on December 20 in what Weis called a “tongue-in-cheek” creative, with Facebook users seeming to take it in the light-hearted manner it was made in.
A sample of the complaints received read:
“The ice cream advert is bright and cheery as it should be. This attracts the attention of consumers, particularly children. To convey the ice cream as a female with a short revealing skirt and to label it as a ‘tart’ is degrading but also highly irresponsible towards teens and children. In a country where people claim to respect women more than other notable countries, I fail to see how this conveys gender respect or appropriateness, particularly for younger persons.”
But Weis responded, saying it was intended to be “humorous” and “not intended or considered to be disrespectful, irresponsible or inappropriate in any way”.
“The total reach of this advertisement was 8212 people, of which 1498 were reached organically, and 6714 were reached as a result of the paid media support. 463 consumers ‘liked’ this advertisement on Facebook, whilst 32 people ‘shared’ the content,” the advertisers said in a statement to the Board.
“These results are particularly strong in comparison to many of our other advertisements, and suggest that this advertisement was generally very well received, and seen by the broader audience as it was intended – that is, as a humorous, tongue-in-cheek advertisement.”
The board noted the word ‘tart’ in conjunction with a woman is relatively old-fashioned and considered that the overall tone of the advertisement is not demeaning or derogatory towards women but rather a play on words around the flavour of the ice-cream and the use of a wrapper styled like a dress.