Equality, sexism and advertising

Equality, sexism and advertising

The Advertising Standards Authority upheld a complaint last week alleging that an advertisement was sexist.  You couldn’t make it up really – a sexist advert for a second hand car dealership! It seems calculated to play to the stereotype of the sexist car salesman.  The offending advertisement appeared as a sponsored post on the complainant's Facebook news feed. It featured an image of a woman, visible from the shoulders down, facing away from the camera and resting one knee on a countertop. She was wearing a shirt but appeared to be naked from the waist down. Text beside the woman was accompanied by the Aston Martin logo and stated "You know you're not the first, but do you really care? - ASTON MARTIN PRE OWED[sic]". The image and its strapline had been posted by Belvue Cars with the accompanying text "Need we say more?". The complainant, who considered that the advert was sexist and objectified women, challenged whether the advert was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

When the ASA challenged the advertiser, they agreed it was offensive, and Facebook also said that it breached their guidelines. The ASA considered that the advert presented a sexist and objectified view of women that was likely to cause serious and widespread offence to those who saw it as a sponsored post in the Facebook news feed for Belvue Cars.  It concluded that the advert breached rule 4.1 (Harm and offence) of

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