Queensland real estate ad censured for treating women ‘similar to cattle’

Brisbane-based real estate agent NGU Real Estate has had one of its online property ads banned by the ad watchdog for portraying women “as being similar to cattle”.

The three minute YouTube ad included women partying on a boat, swimming in a pool, and performing a fashion show down the hallway of the multi-million dollar mansion featured in the promotion.

Complaints labelled the ad as “objectifying of women” and “sexist”.

“This video needs to be removed as it is offence, degrading and dehumanizing [sic] to all women,” another complaint stated.

In response to the complaints NGU Real Estate said it respects the complaints but does not believe it has breached any marketing codes.

“The models are portrayed in a confident manner and the key female is fully clothed and in portrayed in a position of power and confidence. The content was created by women and intended to portray women in a confident and positive light,” NGU Real Estate added.

Agreeing with NGU Real Estate, the ad watchdog said the ad does portray the women in a confident and comfortable manner and despite having sexual innuendos throughout the ad they are only minor.

However, the Ad Standards Board found the scene where the “key female” watches women walk towards her dressed in different clothes is a scene which showed “the women being similar to cattle”.

“The women may have been modelling clothes, but the selected woman goes to stand next to the ‘key female’ after being selected, and the implication is that she has been chosen rather than the clothes.

“The Panel considered that this particular scene in the advertisement did employ sexual appeal in a manner which is exploitative of women in regards to the portrayal of women as commodities or objects to possess,” Ad Standards concluded upholding the complaint.

The banned scene where the women dismisses the models

NGU Real Estate said the ad had since been removed and notes that the company has not “acted unlawfully” because “advertising is self-regulated”.


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