An ad for a web hosting company featuring Pamela Anderson has been banned by the U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority after is was deemed “sexist and degrading to women.”
The Dreamscape Networks ad features Anderson and another woman, clad in bikinis, frolicking in cream. The interlude is set up as the fantasy of a male employee during a meeting.
Dreamscape Networks argued that the ad was not degrading, as it portrayed the female lead as the head of the business and the fantasy sequence was limited to the male employee’s imagination.
“The story line was a parody of office stereotypes and poked fun at a mundane business meeting. They said the role of sex and sexuality in the ad was part of the overall joke which drew attention to the advertised service and brand name.”
The ASA didn’t buy it. Here’s what they had to say about the ad in their ruling:
The ASA understood that the ad was intended as a parody of a mundane business meeting and was intended to be humorous and light-hearted. Whilst we noted Dreamscape Networks’ and Clearcast’s comments about the female characters being portrayed as strong, confident business women, we considered that they were also portrayed sexually throughout the ad, not just during the fantasy sequence. We noted that even though they were wearing business attire, their shirts were buttoned down so that they were exposing their bras and cleavages.
Furthermore, during the fantasy sequence, they were seen dancing and writhing around in cream whilst wearing bikinis. Although the fantasy scene, which we considered was sexually suggestive, was limited to Adam’s imagination, we considered it gave the impression that he viewed his female colleagues as sexual objects to be lusted after. Because of that, we considered the ad was likely to cause serious offence to some viewers on the basis that it was sexist and degrading to women.
Here’s the ad:
What do you think?