Women are over-sexualised everywhere. Magazines, music videos, car rallies. One place, however, you don't really expect to see over-sexualisation is an advert for feminine hygiene products.
Femfresh's latest ad has been banned after it was seen to objectify women and potentially cause widespread offence. The video, featuring women dancing in swimsuits and bikini bottoms, was advertising the brand's intimate shaving collection, and was initially shown on ITV Player and 4oD catch-up apps in March and April of this year.
After airing, the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) received 17 complaints, claiming that the advert was selling the women's bodies more than it was selling the product, and called it “socially irresponsible”.
Church & Dwight UK, the company who own the brand, defended the advert and said that they felt it correctly targeted their 18 to 34 female audience.
The ad featured a fairly regular dance routine, with moves commonly seen in dance warm-ups, yoga and Pilates, but with frequent close-ups of each dancer's crotch area.
ASA said in a statement:
“Even taking into account and nature of the product, we considered that it had been presented in an overly sexualised way that objectified women. [...] We concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence and therefore breached the code. [...] We told Church & Dwight not to use advertising that objectified women and which was likely to cause serious or widespread offence to promote their products.”
Video: The Independent
Over to you: Is the advert over-sexualising or are people overreacting?