To promote unlimited calls to India, a Swedish phone company Rebtel has used the old adage “sex sells” by hiring four women only wearing body paint to dance in New York’s Times Square.
The four women danced to the popular Indian tune “Chammak Challo” wearing nothing but a g-string and body paint. The dances ended with the women holding a Rebtel’s sign and the words “Gives you something to talk about #IndiaUnlimited.”
In a statement Rebtel justified using female nudity to sell a product: “We believe in equal rights for women and men, and that women should have the same right to their body as men. That’s why we were inspired by ‘Free the Nipple‘, a movement and film that exposes the double standards regarding female nudity in the United States.
“This is how we chose to stand out as a rebellious brand. Just because we sell a product, doesn’t mean we can’t participate in a social movement.”
Free the nipple is a global campaign to stop sexualising the female body, after an activist and filmmaker Lina Esco, found out that in New York it’s a criminal offence for a woman to walk topless, but not a man.
Johanna Dahlin, organizing secretary at the Swedish Women’s Lobby attacked the campaign: “It is a clear example of sexism in marketing where women’s bodies are used to gain attention to a company or merchandise. We work through the campaign Reklamera to counteract against advertising like this, since it is an obstacle to gain equality.
“There is no great rethinking related to this sort of marketing, at all. On the contrary, it is old.”
Earlier this year B&T reported research by the American Psychological Association which found advertisement using sexualised content wasn’t actually as effective as people think. Ads using sex were remembered less often and looked on less favourably by consumers.