The Advertising Standards Board (ASB) has dismissed complaints that the campaign for razor brand Schick objectifies women.
According to the complaints, the ad is “sexually objectifying women to sell razors,” with some noting that the product is for men so it’s “difficult to see how Schick could justify the use of a woman stripping other than for the purpose of sexual objectification.”
The one-minute ad features a woman stripping off one layer of shirt after another. As she was about to strip the last layer, a message appears on her breasts, prompting viewers to “Click here to see what happens next.” It includes a URL for a YouTube video, which shows what happened when the clip stopped filming.
According to Energizer, the parent company of Schick, the campaign was only accessible to those who are over 13 years of age “and more particularly to consumers who have ‘liked’ Energizer’s Schick Facebook Page.”
It further added that the campaign “does not portray women or depict material in a way that is capable of discriminating against or vilifying a person or a section of the community on account of their gender.”
Campaign group Collective Shout told its followers to upload a photo that imparts a message against sexism.
“One of our supporters alerted us to Schick’s new ad campaign and their competition. So what we’ve encouraged our supporters to do is to hijack the campaign a little bit and subvert Schick’s sexist and objectifying message about women,” Caitlin Roper, WA state coordinator, was quoted by Mumbrella as saying.
ASB has sided with the advertiser, though.
One of the complaints claim that the woman in the ad has no relevance to the product, which is a razor made for men, but ASB ruled that it is a common practice in advertising to use attractive models, both male and female, to promote a variety of products. And while men are the primary target of the product, women also use the razor.
As for the complaint that the ad was exploitative, ASB said that “the woman in the advertisement appears confident and empowered and in the Board’s view the woman is not presented in a manner which is exploitative or degrading.”
ASB also addressed the supposed nudity in the film, saying that the model was wearing more clothing underneath except in the final scene when her bare breasts were concealed by a text on screen.
“Finding that the advertisement did not breach the Code on other grounds, the Board dismissed the complaint,” the ruling reads.