‘Degrading, exploitative and sexualised’ plumbing ad banned by watchdog

A “degrading, sexualised and exploitative” flyer for a plumbing software company has been condemned by the industry’s ad watchdog for objectifying women.

Flat Rate Now flyer was banned by the ASB | Image source: Mamamia


The flyer for Flat Rate Now featured a woman’s torso holding n hold an iPad in front of her with an accompanying text message promoting the service for plumbers.

“Sexist, demeaning and completely inappropriate” were amongst the complaints filed to the watchdog.

“This advertisement sexualises a product which has nothing to do with sexuality, and uses the female body in a manner which is at best, inappropriate and at worst, offensive,” said another.

Flat Rate Now defended the ad, claiming it only showed “swelling of her breasts”.

“The advertisement whilst having sexual appeal is not exploitive nor degrading of any individual or group of people,” claimed the company.

However, the ASB ruled the ad was sexualised and use of the woman’s body was irrelevant to the advertised service.

“The image was exploitative and by not including the face and/or head of the woman was lowering her in character and reducing her only to a set of breasts for the promotion of a service,” said the ASB.

“On balance the lack of relevance of the image and the level of nakedness did amount to an image that was exploitative and degrading.

“The current image bore no relevance to the product and the woman was presented purely as an object to be looked at by readers,” the watchdog continued.


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