Sexist ad ban of the week goes to UlsterTrader.com who ran this billboard, featuring a bra-clad cleavage with the headline Nice headlamps and below that asking asking what do you look for in a car?
Since the ban was invariable, and the ASA clampdown will, as always, result in more exposure for this piss poor excuse of an ad, one might think this was the idea in the first place. Either that, or the creators of the ad hoped that punters would see it, and unable to tear their eyes away they'd crash their cars and then need to buy a new one at Ulstertrader.com. Or they were simply really crap creatives and an even worse client who thought this would fly. Wake up and smell the coffee, like adlib says in our previous post about sexist ads, " my reptilian brain does not make expensive car purchasing decisions". Ads like these are as insulting to men as they are women. But you'd have to have half a brain of your own to know that, and clearly nobody at Ulstertrader.com does.
The complainants argued that the poster was offensive because it objectified women, degraded them, was sexist and that it implied that women, like cars, were commodities to be bought and sold.
UlsterTrader.com said its brand values included the "use of humour and fun" and that the ad used "light-hearted slang, to what people of both sexes would regard as attractive attributes". The ads ran in 20 high-profile and high-traffic locations in Northern Ireland.
"We considered the image of the woman's cleavage coupled with the strapline ... was likely to be seen to objectify and degrade women by linking attributes of a woman [and] her cleavage to attributes of a car, [namely] the headlamps, in a way that would be seen to imply a woman, like a car, was to be selected for those attributes," said the ASA. "We concluded that the poster had caused serious offence to some readers and was likely to cause widespread offence."