Kolotex Voodoo misandry anti male advertisement

Advertising Standards Board Response on Voodoo Complaint

The letter below is the response from the Advertising Standards Board to a complaint by Pip Wilson. Pip was one of many people who submitted a written complaint.

Pip asked the Board, “Since we can be sure that a billboard featuring a man walking two naked women on a dog leash would be illegal in this country on the grounds of being demeaning to one sex, I’m sure that by the principles of equality and justice, the Board will make an equivalent judgment about the Voodoo hosiery ad”.

(The quoted complaints in the letter below are from some of the many other complainants)

Advertising Standards Bureau Ltd ACN 084 452 666

Level 2, 97 Northbourne Ave.
Turner ACT 2612 Australia
Tel (02) 6262 9822 Fax (02) 6262 9833
Website www.advertisingstandardsbureau.com.au

24 April 2002

Mr P. Wilson

Dear Mr Wilson,

Advertisement Complaint – Reference 97/02

We refer to your complaint about an advertisement for Kolotex Australia Pty Ltd (Voodoo Hosiery).

The Advertising Standards Board viewed the advertisement and considered your complaint at its recent meeting. We have to advise you that the Board did not uphold your complaint.

We enclose a copy of the case report of the Board’s determination for your information.

Thank you for writing to us.

Yours sincerely,

Carole Sladen
Manager – Public Complaints

1. Complaint reference number 97/02

2. Advertiser Kolotex Aust. Pty Ltd (Voodoo)

3. Product Clothing

4. Type of advertisement Outdoor

5. Nature of complaint Portrayal of People, Portrayal of sex/ sexuality/nudity

6. Date of determination April 22 2002

7. DETERMINATION    COMPLAINT DISMISSED

DESCRIPTION OF THE ADVERTISEMENT

This outdoor advertisement features an image of a gloved and stiletto-booted woman wearing (Voodoo) tights under a short Dalmatian-patterned dress, walking behind two crouching men, naked except for dog-style collars, the leashes of which are held by the woman. Accompanying text reads: Voodoo Winter Hosiery.’

THE COMPLAINT

Comments which the complainant/s made regarding this advertisement included the following:

“I found the image of a woman walking along with two naked men on dog leashes on their hands and knees very offensive …sexist and derogatory …”

“It depicts men as animals and honestly puts the fight for gender equality back fifty years.”

“This ad is suggestive that men are dogs, are not worthy of wearing clothing and need to be tied to a woman who has the power. It also suggests that a woman can have more than one man. Both of these points contravene the social morays that are part of today’s society and involves discrimination of men as a lesser sex rather than as an equal.”

“The buttocks of the males are high, thereby depicting their anuses and scrotums to be in the clear view of the person holding the leashes. The advert is in my opinion unacceptable…! am very concerned that people, such as children, who lack the ability to interpret messages analytically, may be led to believe that such images portray a socially acceptable interpersonal relationship.”

“The pose is overtly sexual in an offensive way as it is demeaning to all parties in the ad, suggestive of bondage (the dog collars), bestiality (the woman is wearing a fur coat), prostitution and domination. It is also demeaning to everyone who sees it.”

“This is a moral issue that degrades human value and worth, it brings humans down to the level of animals. For some of the elderly it may bring back memories of war and mistreatment as prisoners of war/slavery. This may also encourage the imagination of some in this direction/treatment of others.”

“If the advertisement was reversed and a male was ‘walking’ two females with a leash, I doubt that the advertisement would even be considered acceptable.”

“I strongly object to this ad’s being placed in the public view where my children were forced to view it today…It is clearly degrading to men to be depicted as some kind of sex slave.”

“Whether some may consider this demeaning to men or women is
irrelevant I personally as an adult woman amjme with it … But I do know it has an impact on children. They are the issue.”

“Why do we seem to have one set of standards for women’s representation and another for men?”

“How low is the IQ of someone who can find no better way of advertising a product, .this sort of crap is just beyond ignorance …”

“My family finds this work totally unacceptable because it explicitly projects the image of young people engaged in bestiality…Why am I explaining to my children that this is a perverted, degraded and total reversal of the expression of sexual love and fidelity that a male and female human can achieve, tell me, why would you condone these pathetic expressions of ‘advertising,’ human degradation?”

“I genuinely feel distressed by seeing this…Such images one might
expect in pornographic literature but should not be in the general
viewing space.”

“I am greatly concerned of the possible impact this sign could have on impressionable persons. In my view, the sign is suggestive of a gross violation of dignity and of human rights and should not be seen in my country, Australia.”

“…two naked coloured men crouching down like animals with their backsides in the air and leashes around their necks which are held by a white woman.”

“These ads are deeply offensive on grounds of both race and gender.”

“This kind of ultra feminism sends the totally wrong message to families where kids and young women think this is acceptable to treat men as ‘pets’ … it’s emasculating and derogatory and heel grinding.”

“I have two daughters aged 4 and 7 and I must ask them to close their eyes every time we pass it. I believe we should have the right to preserve the innocence of our children and not have this type of thing forced upon us.”

“This advertisement is highly offensive, demeaning the relationship between men and women, and depicting men in a humiliating position.”

“I would like to express my disgust .. .It is degrading to men in particular and humans in general …What the hell are the advertising people trying to convey in this ad?”

“I would expect that signs that are degrading to men would be removed as those degrading to women are.”

“This image has the potential to create a backlash from some men and may lead to abusive attitudes towards women.”

“… this level of blatant sexual exploitation of both genders to make money is crude and ignorant”

“No gender should be subject to such demeaning ideas …” “… disgusting and very degrading …” “I believe the ad sexist …” “… extremely offensive and degrading (to men) …” “… offensive and demeaning …” “… degrading, demeaning and inappropriate …” “… sick …” “… filth …” “… too sexy and vulgar …” “… completely unacceptable …” “… affront to civilized society …” “… unacceptable …”

THE DETERMINATION

The Advertising Standards Board (‘the Board’) considered whether this advertisement breaches Section 2 of the Advertiser Code of Ethics (‘the Code’).

The Board considered that while some people clearly had different perceptions of the advertisement, it represented a satirical comment on a patriarchal world.

It determined that, as such, the content of the advertisement did not contravene the Code in relation to either the portrayal of people or the portrayal of sex, sexuality and/or nudity.

With the Board finding that the advertisement did not breach the Code on any other grounds, the complaint was dismissed.

{ 13 comments }

Nik May 27, 2014 at 6:43 pm

With all due respect, go break open your piggy bank and buy yourself a sense of humor.

Freedom of speech and expression, whether it’s fine art, political ranting, or advertising should never be censored, whether in the USA (or other country with speech protections) or any other country. Censorship is the essence of fascism. Speak out and say you don’t like it, write pages and pages about how bad it is, but do not seek to censor this ad or any ad.

I came here to read about the foibles of contemporary feminism because I think it is, by and large, ridiculous. But never, under any circumstances, would I call for the removal of any piece of art, commercial art of fine art, or any published opinion, on the basis that it is offensive, demeaning, or hurtful. The world is hurtful. Life is full of offense. It’s the price of freedom. Thicken your skin and get over it. It’s what I would tell any feminist taking offense at an ad with a sexy naked woman, and it is what I say to anyone taking offense at this ad. There is no God given right to go through life without feeling offended, insulted, or disgusted. In fact, it is impossible to go through life that way; if we try to enforce “correct thinking” in people we will quickly devolve to George Orwell’s world of 1984, with various interest groups grabbing for power to be the ones who get to determine what is permissible expression and what is not.

Off my point, but the men in this ad are ripped. Makes me want to put in my P90X DVD and get to work.

John (admin) May 27, 2014 at 7:19 pm

The main point is the hypocrisy. Much less ‘offensive’ advertisements against women are decried as sexist and misogynistic and much is made in the media are are usually removed. When it is targeted at men; however, it is somehow ‘no big deal, just a bit of fun, a satirical comment, buy a sense of humor, grow a thick skin, etc, etc’. All of which leads us to the delightful feminist society in which we now live.

RedApple April 22, 2014 at 1:48 pm

Last year, Anita Sarkeesian uploaded a video of her talking about a Carl’s Jr. commercial that featured a SHIRTLESS MALE MODEL to YouTube.
The commercial features the model eating a hawaiian -themed burger while he plays with a little hawaiian doll.
Anita Sarkeesian saw the sexist context of the commercial on the hawaiian doll, she went as far as to label it racist due to “the sexualization of hawaiian culture” (Like they don’t do a good enough job by themselves).
But let me repeat this to you, to Sarkeesian, PROMINENT MAINSTREAM FEMINIST, the sexist context of the commercial is on a doll, which according to her is meant to attract males, not the SHIRTLESS MALE MODEL who, logic dictates, is meant to attract women.
This goes beyond the ground of double standards and lands right in CUCKOO-land, these feminazis are bent on representing men as the evil estate even when they are using men as fantasy objects.

Mac April 3, 2013 at 7:55 pm

I think this ad proves that women have the same “Objectifying” fantastic of men as men have for women. The claim Feminists have that only men Objectify women is a fallacy and this ad helps show that their lies.

Bottom line is SEX SALES. Companies with objectify anything to SALE the product of service. It sales because over 80% (That means men and women) are like minded enough to want to see what they sale because of the sexual undertones of the ads. Even the clothing ads that are for women, objectify women. It’s marketing, not Patriarchal society.

Hefner made Playboy and then made Playgirl because it sales. If it was only gay men buying Playgirl, it would not make so much money, it takes a larger client base to do that. Simple economics. To sale a lot of products or services, you need a large client base.

My only issue I have with the ad is that if it was a Man walking women it would have been pulled. If we are for “Equality” then it should have the same fate. Since ads have been pulled simply because portrays women in a poor light, then most the ads I see on TV, books, etc should be banned.

I_am_I May 2, 2012 at 10:09 am

There is a difference between what goes on between consenting adults in the bedroom (bondage, S&M, the very things evoked by this image), and what is considered to be appropriate, responsible conduct in wider society. Clearly the fuckwits who designed this ad think the two are the same.

Alan Jervis February 21, 2012 at 4:48 am

@michael,
You wrote: “sort of like planet of the apes (though women are not like apes don’t get me wrong) but it would be twisted. Right?”

Right – women are not like apes, however the bigoted, self-centred feminists that apparently preside over the Australian Advertising Standards Bureau, that approve of this disgusting example of misandry are far less civilised than even the real apes in the real world.
The women (female apes) depicted in that old 1970′s television series ‘Planet of the Apes’ were far more human than today’s destructive and genocidal feminists!
The way things are shaping up in Western society, a massive revolt is only around the corner…
Be warned smug feminazis: most men are now beginning to wake up to your misandrous deception and manipulative ways and have had enough of your hatred and oppression. Not only the men, but also the families (that is the FEMALE members of their families) of the men that you have victimized and scape-goated for so long. They too have had enough of you!

michael February 20, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Okay i agree that is twisted advertisment that not even satan would allow in hell but just a imagine what the world would be like if the would be that way.
sort of like planet of the apes (though women are not like apes don’t get me wrong) but it would be twisted. Right?

Wayne August 5, 2011 at 4:24 pm

So, make an ad depicting the opposite, advertise some similar product for men (say, chaps), post the billboard, and when the complaints roll in, hand them the response from the board.

Or, send in the draft ad, without comment, and see how the board rules. Post the results side by side.

If it’s not ok to depict this with one gender, it’s not ok to depict it with another. For that matter, if a nude man were ‘walking’ a woman dressed as the model is in this picture, there would be hue and cry from the professional victim class.

Hipocracy lies in feminists claiming abuse, claiming they’re working for equal rights, and claiming a moral high ground, and then having the inconsistency demonstrated. When it comes down to it, feminism is NOT about equal rights, or being equal in the law, or protecting people from being exploited or demeaned. It is about one gender, and to hell with anyone else. It only holds one gender accountable, so feminism isn’t about anything more than removing accountability for women for the decisions and actions they take, and arbitrary punishment for men for whatever some crank can come up with.

Robert June 16, 2011 at 10:52 pm

@ C…I dont care if the council has some feminist men on it…that doesnt make this god awful commercial ok….this is pure misandry and sexism at its worst….just change the picture around C, or whatever your name is….and put a team of slutty walker type women in there…how does that feel to you and your feminist pals ….the only hypocrites around here are the ugly feminists who have no idea of fairness and balance in life…the heart of feminism is spoiled, self centered, cold and incredibly mean spirited.

C May 11, 2011 at 10:54 pm

Hey “John”, if you could bee bothered to actually look at the ASB’s website you would see that there is a fairly even mix of men and women on the board.

So basically, you’re against women being sexist towards men but have absolutely nothing against men being sexist towards women.?
*Cough* Hypocrite *Cough*.

Kodi February 20, 2011 at 5:38 am

In response to ‘John’. You’re an awful hypocrite. ‘Probably women’ how sexist was that? Even if the board was completely women, we are not all sexists like you and people of such high status jobs are much more intelligent than to pass judgement on somebody or something souley based on gender, unlike you.

John February 16, 2011 at 8:56 pm

You notice that the letter was signed by a woman. We don’t know what the composition of the board was, probably women.

Nergal January 21, 2011 at 7:10 am

“With the Board finding that the advertisement did not breach the Code on any other grounds, the complaint was dismissed.”

Fucking kangaroo courts.

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