Teazers billboard 'degrading'

2008-05-14 20:17

Johannesburg - Teazers has been told by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to remove one of its billboards because it was deemed degrading, the authority said on Wednesday.

The billboard, depicting a woman pulling down a pair of jeans and exposing her buttocks, with the pay-off line, "This Christmas, you have the milk and cookie", was displayed on Johannesburg's Rivonia Road.

A consumer lodged a complaint that it was degrading to women, and should not have been placed near a school.

The adult club argued that had the billboard featured the back of a man, no complaints would have been made, and also said that a lot of women were similarly dressed on beaches all over the world.

But the ASA ruled that according to the Advertising Code, "gender stereotyping or negative gender portrayal shall not be permitted unless such portrayal is reasonable and justifiable in an open and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom."

Lillian Mlambo, ASA Communications Manager, said: "In reaching our decision we had to question whether the advertising portrays the woman in a manner that exploits, objectifies or demeans."

She noted that the only area focused on in the billboard was her back and buttocks, which effectively reduced her to a sexual object.

"The image with the pay-off line 'This Christmas, you have the milk and cookie', suggests that the woman's body is edible, as the word 'cookie" is a slang term sometimes used to refer to the female genitalia and 'milk and cookies' are generally regarded as a snack.

The ASA directorate upheld the complaint and ordered Teazers to remove the billboard immediately.