Thursday, June 30, 2016

Award-winning advertisement accused of sexism and promoting rape culture

A PROMINENT agency has been forced to withdraw an award-winning advertisement accused of promoting rape culture and sexism.

The Brazilian arm of the global creative agency AlmapBBDO won a Bronze Award at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for the following advertisement:

Its purpose is a bit confusing. Given the association between aspirin and a hangover, the assumption seems to be that “Babe” is intoxicated and doing something they’ll regret the next day (hence the need for aspirin), and the narrator is their... mate? Partner? Random shag?

The ‘.mov’ suffix, which signifies a movie file on a computer, implies a video file has or is going to be made.

Feminist critics slammed the ad, saying it was “selling rape culture” by implicitly filming someone without their consent.

Among its critics were Cindy Gallop, the well-known English advertising consultant who founded the companies IfWeRanTheWorld and MakeLoveNotPorn.

The reaction on social media prompted the brand owner Bayer to pull it from circulation.

AlmapBBDO has since withdrawn all its Bayer work from the festival at the request of the agency’s global creative chief David Lubars.

Social media users were divided on whether the ad was offensive or not. Many on Twitter were quick to slam it as an example of sexist attitudes being used for commercial entertainment:


It's a pretty dumb advertisement, however you look at it.  I guess it's supposed to be "edgy".


Dean said...

If someone is having consensual sex, and records it without telling his/her partner the act then becomes rape? That's a stretch. If, on the other hand, rape is being committed, why would reassurance that the act is not being filmed even be offered?

Maybe the ad is intimating the person filming is going to need large doses of aspirin to ease the pain of all the bruises and contusions received after the recording comes to light.

There are many that leave the viewer wondering either what is being advertised, or what the ad had to do with the product. This is one of the latter.

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