Two weeks ago, Belvedere Vodka tweeted an ad depicting a man pulling a surprised, open-mouthed woman down onto his lap. The headline read: “Unlike some people, Belvedere always goes down smoothly.” Decent people got the skeevies and called the ad out as rapey. Belvedere quickly tweeted that they were sorry “if any of our fans were offended” — but not sorry for the actual creepy ad — and made a donation to the Rape And Incest National Network.
Now, Alicyn Packard, the actress who starred in a comedy sketch from which Belvedere appropriated her image, is suing its parent company Moet Hennesey. Packard’s lawsuit claims emotional distress from appearing in such a reviled ad and claims Belvedere did not have permission to use her image (misappropriation of likeness). The company allegedly ganked her image from a comedy video made by her company, Strickly Viral Productions. “To be affiliated with an ad that’s so offensive to so many has just been horrible,” she told KTLA. Keep reading »
She’s supposed to “get gorgeously dressed in 15 minutes flat,” but not worry about her hair getting wet in the rain. She’s supposed to love a good laugh, but can’t gossip. She’s a big eater, but doesn’t drink white wine. And on, and on, and on. According to this old ad for Bill Blass Perfume, finding your soul mate is just like ordering up a burger … only more obnoxiously specific. [The Hairpin]
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ ad campaigns are usually an 11 on the eyeroll scale, only a point behind Axe Body Spray. Their latest ad features a woman whose body is all covered up for once, but she’s wearing a neck brace because her little boyfriend from “Portlandia” “went vegan and knocked the bottom out of” her. And we get a solid eight seconds of the camera lingering on her derriere.
While I don’t doubt that lying on your couch all day eating wings doesn’t make for good lovemaking, this PETA ad perhaps overstates the benefits of boning a vegan. Personally, every meat/dairy-abstaining dude I’ve ever boned was pale, sickly-looking and evangelical about getting me to eat raw cacao. Sexy? Not a chance. While I’m sure there are plenty of vegan/vegetarian dudes who are, heh, animals in the sack, methinks this body brace nonsense is just a tad wishful thinking. [YouTube via Yahoo]
I have no business watching a scrotum itch commercial, much less one in Japanese. But I don’t regret the minutes of my life I’ll never get back after watching this on repeat. There’s itching. There’s singing. There’s dancing (sort of). Why can’t Vagisil commercials be this funny? (I mean, outside of “Saturday Night Live.”) [Copyranter]
The rampant white-washing of models, actresses, and musicians of color is not a new concept. Freida Pinto, Rihanna, and Aishwarya Rai have all previously fallen victim to white-washing on magazine covers and in promotional images. Beyoncé’s skin was lightened dramatically in a 2008 cosmetics ad by L’Oreal, where she is the spokesperson. These incidents can be contributed to digital retouchers and the outlets that choose to release the images … but what about your own album cover and promo ads? The photos accompanying Beyoncé’s most recent release, 4, have stirred up controversy and it’s not a struggle to see why. Beyoncé is a fairly light-skinned black woman and she generally keeps her hair lightened to a shade that’s more caramel than chocolate. But these shots have her looking straight up like Lindsay Lohan with a subtle tan. If you showed me this image on its own and asked me who it was, Beyoncé would be my last guess.
Again, these light-skinned images are promotional ads for Béyonce’s own album, which leads me to believe that she absolutely approved the photos. [NYMag.com]
When pop culture depicts transgender people, they usually do it in such a facepalm way that I wonder why anyone bothers anymore. The latest what-were-you-thinking? comes courtesy of Libra tampons in New Zealand, which aired a commercial that implies trans folks who dress as women are not “real women.” The commercial shows an ostensibly “real” woman standing next to a trans person in the bathroom, who I guess is a drag queen. They both put on their lip gloss and mascara and adjust their boobs in their tight party dress. Then the “real” woman pulls a tampon out of her purse. The drag queen makes a “hmmph!” face and walks away. Keep reading »
I’m on the fence about this ad for Equinox, an upscale gym with locations in Los Angeles, New York City, and elsewhere. On the one hand, I’m not keen on the juxtaposition within advertisement — that the woman herself is a “joy ride” (despite the fact she is freezing in that outfit) or that riding a motorcycle in a bikini would be a joy ride (again, despite the fact she is freezing in that outfit). It’s another unrealistic portrayal of women’s bodies — not the physical body itself, but the unreal suggestion that she’s so “hot” she’s not losing her tuchus to frostbite.
However, I’m not bothered by the fact a woman in an advertisement for a gym is wearing a bikini, or that her face/identity is obscured by her motorcycle helmet. Even though there are other cases of advertising where a woman’s body is used to gratuitously sell a product — many alcohol ads, for instance — I think a gym advertisement is a pretty legit reason.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments. Keep reading »
For the first time in eight years, the network hosting the Super Bowl has actually accepted the preliminary script for GoDaddy.com’s bro-tastic commercial pitches. Six racy “Internet only” commercials later — including one rejected commercial with a “beaver” entrendre — I’m still trying to align my neck after all of that strategic screen blocking. GoDaddy certainly isn’t unique in its marketing of sex, especially during the biggest football game of the year. It’s just their total lack of cleverness that normally cushions the hot-girls-performing-exaggerated-sexuality-for-guys message that make them more crude.
Allow me to give you a rundown… Keep reading »
It’s a sad but true fact that in some parts of the world, especially China, baby boys are favored over baby girls. In fact, boys are so strongly favored in some rural areas of China that girls are aborted after their gender is known and as a result there’s a drastic imbalance in the population.
But even in countries where baby girls are brought into the nursery, parents can have a hard time when they learn they’re decorating it pink instead of blue. This has a lot to do with existing sexist prejudices that adversely impact females in society — like lack of access to education and employment — that privilege males and incentivize parents to have boys.
So the magazine Fast Company thought up something completely innovative: it asked a half dozen ad agencies to rebrand girls with mock advertisements. Oh, if sexism were only as simple as bad advertising! The agencies primarily focused on targeting parents — er, consumers — in the U.S. and China and several opted to highlight perceived reasons that girls are better than boys, rather than just appreciating girls for their own sakes. For that reason I’m not sure I like all of these, although all the mock ads are certainly creative.
Take a click through and tell me in the comments what you think! [Fast Company]