Shoe brand reprimanded for exploiting exposed woman in billboard ad

Shoe brand Windsor Smith has been reprimanded by the ad watchdog for projecting a woman in an “exploitative” manner when releasing a billboard ad featuring a woman from the waist down wearing sequinned black boots and a black leotard.

The complaint which was posted to Ad Standards noted the woman had “very naked buttocks” which was “very inappropriate” and objectified women.

A Windsor Smith ad previously banned by Ad Standards for demeaning women

Windsor Smith said the billboard displayed at Melbourne Central was inspired by the 80s dance scene from the movies Flashdance and Fame.

“This advertisement was in-line with our high fashion campaign in-line with Virgin Australia Fashion week, where the shoes were launched.”

The advertiser noted the ad was “one of a kind” and would be replaced following the complaints.

Ad Standards agreed the billboard wasn’t degrading towards women but said the ad had sexual appeal as it focused on the woman’s legs and buttocks.

The Board said the focus on the woman’s buttocks had nothing to do with selling shoes and therefore found the depiction of the woman to be “unnecessary” and “exploitative”.

Ad Standards upheld the complaint and banned the ad.

Windsor Smith confirmed the ad has since been taken down.

A similar shoe to the one which was advertised


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