David Beckham may be one of the best things to have happened to the game of soccer since cleats were invented, but he’s also one of the best things to have happened to advertising since the dawn of modern media…at least in my book. I mean, have you seen his nearly nude Armani ads? [Now you have! See above! -- Editor]
Well, if the European Parliament has anything to do with it, our friends on the other side of the pond may not have the good fortune of gazing at Beckham’s chiseled abs in glossies and on the sides of buses for much longer. Earlier this month, the Parliament voted in favor of a report drafted by the Women’s Rights Committee that aims to more tightly monitor nudity in marketing campaigns and to end the use of gender stereotypes.
The report claims that “gender stereotypes often exist in advertising to the financial gain of big business,” which, duh. Doesn’t everything in ads exist to the financial gain of a business? Isn’t that kind of the point? Where would ads even be if they didn’t play up gender stereotypes? Could you imagine yogurt ads without women talking about their weight? Or men’s razor ads without the requisite square-jawed hunks? Do you even want to imagine the latter?
The Women’s Rights Committee says such gender stereotypes ‘significantly disparage the relationship between men and women’, but I’d like to assure them that an ad of David Beckham in his underwear only enhances the relationship between this woman and her man. [Brand Republic]