Products wrapped in breathing, naked flesh: Are all ads sex ads?


(Sloggi: Exploitation truly is as old as Eve…)

Now, this is fun…

Did you ever hear of the ‘Guard Dogs’? Neither did I but they are a French/Swiss feminist association that, obviously, watches TV way too much – or, at least, pays a little bit too much attention to the commercials that are on offer there:

“An image of a scantily-clad female bottom with the slogan ‘On Special Offer’ has been named the most degrading advertisement of the year by a European women’s group. The poster of buttocks clad in sheer tights by Swiss underwear giant Sloggi was given the award for “promoting pornography and prostitution” by the Guard Dogs, a French and Swiss feminist association. The group gave another prize for “gratuitous nudity that has nothing to do with the product” to Italian coffee company Lavazza for a picture of a naked woman on all fours.”

Happily, it’s been more than ten years since I owned a TV, so I don’t have to endure or zap through those highly annoying commercial breaks. Maybe it would be better if this feminist association got rid of their TVs as well.

Like poverty, stupidity and greed, exploitation will always be with us – and fighting the kind of mindset that comes up with these types of ‘On Special Offer’ campaigns, is too much like letting loose a miniature Don Quixote inside a Chinese assembly line factory for toy windmills.

Nevertheless, I have no trouble agreeing with these Guard Dogs that a Hell of a lot of these ads are sexist: Aimed at selling products that are wrapped in the naked, breathing flesh of well-paid models, who serve as the fantasy women and slave girls du jour.

Nothing new there, of course. Sex sells. We know that and today’s consumer capitalism is not much different from those old carnival shows, where snake oil salesmen and other shysters, assisted by scantily clad ladies, used to lure the greedy & easily excited, male rubes inside.

Fools and their money are soon parted – especially if you throw in a bit of naked, nubile flesh.

You can, quite rightly, consider these practices exploitative and degrading but, in a way, not much more so for the women involved than for those idiot male customers – and, at least, the women walking our catwalks, the ones who are plastered on posters and paraded in TV commercials, are getting paid quite well.

While, like in those good old carnie show days, it’s the wide-eyed, drooling, male punters who are getting fleeced.

1 comment:

  1. Some people just want to be offended.

    "Step Right Up" is a classic.