Robots can’t be brutal and girls can’t go too wild, rules ad watchdog

Two ads judged to be demeaning to women have been censured by the Advertising Standards Board.

The ASB has found that a commercial for Brut Max anti-perspirant and a late night ad for the Girls Gone Wild adult mobile service were both in breach of advertising rules.  

The Brut ad – made by ad agency Loud for advertiser Pharmacare – featured a robot collecting macho-friendly objects such as a surfboard and a football . It then picks up a doll, which it indicated is “rejected” before turning her into a woman in a bikini, which it collects.

A voiceover for the ad – aired during NRL and AFL broadcasts – concludes: “Brut – still brutally male”.

Defending the ad, the advertiser said: “”When making the commercial we made sure that:  Tara, our model was portrayed as comfortable and happy, and a real person. -The Robot acted gently, engaging and not threatening or menacing.”

Referrring to coverage of sex scandals involving footballers, the board described the media placement as “unfortunate”, and added:

“The Board considered that the advertisement objectifies the woman and represents her as a desired possession of men. The transformation from a doll to this particular buxom, very attractive woman dressed in a bikini also objectifies a particular type of women and perpetuates a stereotype of ‘desirable’ women.”

In the Girls Gone Wild ruling, the ASB said: ” The advertisement depicts young women in mostly swimwear or underwear in sexually suggestive poses and positions with mostly the women’s’ breasts and genitals obscured by various objects. The Board considered that while many of these images are not unacceptable in this timeframe, several of the images in this particular advertisement were inappropriate and did not treat sexuality with sensitivity to the relevant audience. In particular the Board considered that the depictions of women touching their own or other women’s’ genitals with the suggestion of masturbation or sexual stimulation was inappropriate.”


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