Bad ads

How fortunate we are, to no longer have adverts that boldly proclaim on ‘what wives are for‘, or that ‘men are better than women‘ (way to sell a sweater!).

And how advertising has changed in the last half century: recent controversy has focused on the GB women’s Olympic volleyball team, who feature in an advert which is premised upon taking photos of the pants (UK English sense) of the sportswomen (the barcodes take smartphone users to the website of a betting company). For more, see here.

3 thoughts on “Bad ads

  1. Since posting this, three things have occured to me:

    1) Interestingly, in the BBC article, the criticism is formulated as follows:

    ‘But Ms Norris, from Bristol Feminist Network, said: “I think what is really shows is that there’s still a lack of seriousness taken when it comes to women’s sports.

    “There’s the assumption that men are the spectators rather than women for a start.

    “But also do we want these women to be seen as athletes or are they walking advertising billboards?”‘

    Hmmm. There’s an assumption in this critique that only men are interested in women’s pants.

    2) Also, I wonder how far the criticism about being a walking advert goes, given that men and women in sports tend to wear and advertise a range of brands.

    3) I was put in mind of a clip I watched recently of Stephen Mumford talking about sports spectatorship; the idea that sports are set up for spectators to observe the display of embodied agency.

    If one of the main aims of spectatorship is to observe embodied agency, that might alter the kind of worry that we have (if you do!) – not simply that the focus is on the sportspeople’s bodies per se, but that it is attention of a certain kind.

  2. A bad ad inspired my Venus Project 10 years ago. Some loon at an add agency thought it would be good to use the Venus of Willendorf to sell some diet. It didn’t last very long. I think it ran for a week and then was pulled ( I wonder why ) I have tried short of going to this museum in New York and hunting through years of diet commercials to find the company that did it. It was shocking. I can’t recall what diet company it was for but they had a picture of the Venus of Willendorf rotating on the screen and there was man’s voice over talking about how fat kills and then then finally “you don’t want to look like this” meaning like the Venus of Willendorf. How this ad agency would take this feminist Icon and turn it into a tool for self loathing and body hatred was beyond me. If anyone remembers this or knows were I can find out more I would ever grateful. More and more we see VofM used to talk about the so called Obesity Epidemic I want to take her back…after years of dieting and disordered eating I look a whole lot more like VofM then any other Iconic Woman, how dare they use it to against us.

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