Advertising Standards Bureau Review of Operations 2014 - Page 31

rather that the methods and tactics of the oldfashioned salesman are negative. Discrimination against transgender The concept of a “Sun Mum” (Queensland Health – 0050/14) raised concerns about discrimination and vilification of transgender people. In this case the Board accepted that the depiction of the woman could be interpreted as being a transgender person, but was of the view that the “Sun Mum” is presented in a manner which clearly indicates this is a man dressed as a woman. The Board view was that the advertisement was not trying to present the “Sun Mum” as a transgender person and that most members of the community would agree that the use of the “Sun Mum” is in the context of a comedic slant to deliver the important sun safety message. In one advertisement (Expedia - 0424/14) the Board noted the overall humorous tone and considered that the suggestion that the man’s wife used to be a man is not presented in a negative manner but rather as a reason to not go ahead with a honeymoon option but to choose something else. The Board noted the suggestion that the man will be able to laugh about the fact he has married his mate and considered that the implication is that the man is concerned about the fact it is his mate he has married rather than the fact his mate is transsexual . The Board acknowledged that there are negative stereotypes surrounding transsexual women, but was of the view that the advertisement did not suggest that all transsexual women would want or try to trick a man in to a relationship and that the advertisement treats the issue of trans women in a manner which is not discriminatory or vilifying. Discrimination against women Discrimination against women in advertisements generally attracts high complaint numbers. Imagery of women presented in a sexualised manner can be considered under Sections 2.1, 2.2 and 2.4 of the Code depending on the content of the advertisement and nature of the complaint. Cases dismissed under Section 2.1 in 2014 include advertisements which: make implications about women’s intelligence levels (SCA Hygiene Review of Operations 2014 – 0372/14); use a stereotypical comment about squealing (Southern Cross Austereo – 0165/14); make a reference to women as birds (Bayswater Car Rental – 0124/14); and an inference to a woman having a shapely body (Edwards Mowers Repairs – 0308/14). In these cases the Board viewed the use of the references as light hearted, humorous and not negative. The Board considered that while the advertisement suggests an unpleasant scenario, it is one which is relevant to the service being advertised. In the Board’s view, the advertisement did not suggest that all women will make the demands suggested and considered that the scenario presented did not discriminate against women. A billboard making reference to women as “the ball and chain” (Hougoumont Hotel – 0381/14) was not viewed in a positive light by the Board. In this case the Board noted that the reference to a wife or partner as a ball and chain is a colloquial term that can suggest that the female partner may drag a man down or hold him back in some way. The Board considered that although the creative idea may have a different interpretation, overall the message to the broad community that is being delivered in the advertisement is a negative one and is categorising women as the ball and chain, not men. In the Board’s view suggesting that a mother is responsible for cleaning (S C Johnson & Son Pty Ltd – 0495/14) is a stereotype which the broad community would be familiar with, but does not suggest men wouldn’t or couldn’t clean. The Board noted that the advertisement does not suggest that women are of lesser status or value than men and considered that the suggestion that a son wants to spend more time with his mother is a positive message which highlights the importance of a mother. Although the advertiser had amended the advertisement to include mention of the father and that while this inclusion improves the advertisement, in the Board’s overall view the original version did not depict women in a negative or demeaning manner. In another case referring to female partners (Sportsbet – 0360/14), the Board were less concerned about the term used. The Board noted that the term “wifey” is a term used by some members of the community and considered that in the context of the name assigned to a man’s wife in his mobile phone contacts list it could be considered affectionate or the preferred term of the man’s partner. The Board noted that married men are often described as “hubbies” and considered that the word “wifey” as used in the advertisement is being used in its colloquial manner and is not of itself demeaning to women. The Board dismissed complaints about an advertisement featuring a similar scene (0080/14) where the man also ignores a phone call from his partner. Consistent with its previous determination the Board noted in this instance that the man’s behaviour could be considered disrespectful to his wife but it is intended to be light-hearted and not likely to be mimicked. The way wives are depicted as behaving was also considered by the Board in 2014. A radio advertisement (DS Family Law – 0024/14) includes a scenario in which a man describes some of the issues arising in his divorce such as claims being made on his family home by his wife. The amount or type of clothing which women wear in advertisements is a cause of concern for the community. Although scantily clad, the Board viewed a cinema advertisement (Windsor – 0297/14) as one which presented the women as equal participants in a fashion show and that this style of presentation was not uncommon in advertising for fashion items. The Board had previously dismissed the same advertisement on Pay TV in case 0210/14 and on Free TV in case 0331/13. The Board view of a depiction of women dressed as cowgirls who walk with their legs apart (Kimberly Clark – 0403/14) was that it was not discriminatory of women or cowgirls, but an advertisement aimed at highlighting the comfort of the advertised product and that it was reasonable to demonstrate how wearing some pads may cause discomfort. Discrimination on the ground of ethnicity, race or nationality Discrimination against certain ethnic or racial groups or nationalities is considered under Section 29