Sex sells and no matter how many complaints, advertisers will keep doing what they do: Getting your attention.
The latest slap on the hand went to car maker Renault for their ad featuring hidden camera footage of different men and a woman driving the car around London.
The Advertising Standards Authority, an advertising watchdog, banned the ad ruling that it objectified women, The Guardian reported July 17. As the test drivers reached a junction, the men and the woman press a button dubbed "va va voom," kick-starting a chain reaction that involved a Parisian backdrop to appear with actors and props, including a people at a café, a man on a scooter and a market stall. The YouTube ad then features a group of women wearing burlesque-style lingerie and gyrating and dancing around the car and drivers.
But the 51-second clip also shows a couple kissing and shirtless men dancing around the car as well. Aren't the men objectified as well?
Just last month here in the U.S., Kraft received criticism from "One Million Moms," but it wasn't banned. Kraft's Zesty Italian Dressing print ad features an attractive and muscular man wearing what appears to be nothing. And the tagline reads "Silverware Optional — Let's Get Zesty." The biggest complaint was that it was inappropriate for children and One Million Moms was the same group who had a problem with the Ellen Christmas commercial.
But it's not the first time sexy men in ads got so much attention. The infamous Old Spice commercials, which often features shirtless attractive men, received more praise for being clever than objectifying men.
According to the Guardian, Renault UK said that the ad was a parody of French culture and that the dancers were a reference to Moulin Rouge, a "rhythmical send-up of the burlesque style", and were not overtly sexual. It added that the video had been watched more than 3 million times on YouTube and it was unaware of any other complaints.
The ASA released a statement saying:
We were concerned that the ad featured a number of shots of the women's breasts and bottoms, in which their heads were obscured, and which we considered invited viewers to view the women as sexual objects. We further considered that the choreography, dress and facial expressions of the dancers were sexually provocative and that the overall impression given was not necessarily that of a parody.
Watch video and judge for yourself.