2012 was yet another less than stellar year for women's portrayals in advertising, or so says Huffington Post, who list nine ads they consider the most sexist of last year. Among them are two spots from Axe (shocking, I know), one from GoDaddy (no way!), lots of boobs, and at least one ad that seems to condone date rape.
A few highlights:
"Por Amor A Las Tetas" ("For The Love Of Boobs")
Breasts in a breast cancer awareness PSA? No surprise there. But when you only show boobs and no heads like this spot from a Chilean advertising agency, what are you saying? Save the boobs, not the women?
Speaking of disembodied breasts, Axe uses that image in this ad to point out what we notice first about the opposite sex. Some cried sexism, while others defended the spot as a celebration of carnal desire. To me it's just weird and creepy, much like Axe products.
"Science: It's A Girl Thing"
As HuffPo points out, the European Union Commission had good intentions with this spot meant to get more girls and women interested in science, but using stereotypes to do it--if you love lipstick and nail polish, you'll love science!--makes this one at a partial fail at the very least.
Can't get your woman to go down on you? Date rape her! That's what this ill-advised print ad from Belvedere vodka seems to be saying, making it the most offensive ad of the year. I'm not sure where the vodka comes in: before the assault or after it. Or both.
GoDaddy "Otter" Ad
Domain registrar GoDaddy has been making questionable ads for years, and 2012 was no exception. In their latest spot meant to ruffle feathers, we meet Charlene, a sexy woman in a tight body suit whose job is to attract customers, and Karl, an engineer who does important work like maintaining GoDaddy's servers. Charlene's value is in her looks, while Karl's is in his expertise. Go back to 1950, Daddy.
You can see the rest of the ads here. I'll admit that I don't find some of these particularly offensive, but then, I'm not a woman.
Ladies, what do you think of these spots? Do you find them offensive or harmless? Are we reading too much into them, or are we not doing enough to stop them?