Sexism in advertising: it's a highly contentious topic that has inspired anger, debate and discussion for several years. We joined forces with Loud's creative director Joe Van Trump to countdown the most sexist ads of all time.
Loud's creative director Joe Van Trump:
I wonder how many martinis the creative guys had congratulating themselves after they wrote this timeless piece of sexist advertising. Or more importantly, how many they had while they were writing it.
2) Sexy Legs
This harks back the good ole’ Aussie larrikin days when men were men and lawsuits were non-existent. We’ve come a long way, baby.
“When you can’t be with him, be in his mind. Be a mind sticker.” The good people at the Coca-Cola Company did all they could to put pressure on women to stay in shape for their men. You’d think times have changed, but turn on the TV and you’ll see women pole dancing and prancing around in skimpy wedding dresses in a vain effort to impress bachelor farmers. Now that’s a mind sticker for sure!
4) Zoo Magazine
This ad is just as base and insipid and gratuitous as the magazine itself. Boobs and kebabs and boobs eating kebabs, that’s so Zoo.
5) Goodyear Polyglass Tires
Here’s another chestnut from my American brethren. Apparently, women were completely helpless at almost everything back then. Especially when driving through those scary airports. Cringe worthy but a classic example of sexism at its best.
6) Folgers Coffee
This was way before my time, but timeless sexist claptrap nonetheless. The poor woman had it rough - verbally abused by her husband, patronized by the elderly and to top it off, her petunias died.
As a man, I find this campaign witty and insightful and sympathetic to our plight – especially the website. However, it is at the expense of our better halves. And it really doesn’t show any true empathy or understanding about what women really have to go through. But it does reinforce the fact that I’m happy that don’t have to go through it.
The campaign suggests if you’re not thin, you’re not beautiful. So basically, it’s a woman’s responsibility to look a certain way for the benefit of others. I know the advertiser was probably trying to promote the healthy nature of the product, but promoting health and promoting beauty are two different things.