Queensland dentist’s TV ad banned for exploiting women

Moranbah Dental, a Queensland dentist, has had one of its television ads banned for using sexual appeal in a manner which was exploitative.

The commercial features a man sitting on a park bench as he watches women walk past. As one of the women puts money in his cup, a voiceover says “What does your smile say about you?”

Moranbah Dental’s website image

Complaints said the ad was “sexist” and objectifies women while another complaint labeled the ad as “offensive”, as the man looks more like a pervert than a dentist.

Responding to the complaints Moranbah Dental said: “The add doesn’t derade women if anthing it degrades me [sic].”

“Channel 7 say its been seen by over 120 thousand people and weve had 2 people complain .i also have quite aggressive competition from the other dentist in town and one in mackay that I have rubbed up.both advertise with 7 and 7 says one has raised a complaint [sic].”

Ad Standards said although the ad doesn’t discriminate or vilify the women, it does focus on the women’s legs, bottoms and chest.

“The Panel considered that the advertisement did focus on the body parts of the women, especially the chest of the second women. The Panel considered the fact that the second woman in the advertisement was filmed only from the neck down and her face was not shown.

“The story is that the man is ogling the woman, and one of the women thinks he is a homeless person,” Ad Standards said upholding the complaints.

In September last year, the Australian Association for National Advertisers (AANA) tightened its rules around using sexual appeal in advertising to “better align with community expectations” around using sexual appeal in advertising.

Previously, the Code prohibited advertising which relied on “exploitative and degrading” sexual appeal – meaning a brand had to be found guilty of both in order to be banned. The updated code now states an ad is in breach if it is “exploitative or degrading”, which broadens the scope of ads it can be applied to. ‘Exploitative’ was also redefined under the code.


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