No Comment: Grilled Cheese and a Side of Trivialization

What’s up with the food industry trivializing domestic violence? Last February, a passerby snapped a photo of a chalkboard (top) in the window of Smiths, a Philadelphia bar and restaurant that provides “friendly yet stellar service.” The not-so-friendly chalkboard read: “I like my beer like I like my violence … Domestic.” A month later, Chops & Hops in […]

No Comment: “Reclaim Your Wife”

If your wife is breastfeeding your newborn, you need to GET HER BACK. So instructs an ad campaign for a baby bottle manufacturer, ostensibly targeted to new fathers, which hearkens back to the days when men could count women among their possessions. Bittylab, a company helmed by a woman, tells men to “reclaim” their wives from […]

No Comment: Lush Protests Torture of Animals with Simulated Torture of Woman

We’ve long ceased to be surprised by PETA’s tendency to fetishize violence against women and objectify us in their ad campaigns. But now Lush, the British cosmetics chain we thought was ethical and progressive, has decided to follow suit. The company is circulating a video of a publicity stunt–oops, we mean, “performance art”–filmed at its flagship U.K. […]

No Comment, Newcastle: “Not an Attractive Woman”

Under direction of its new ad agency, Droga5, the makers of U.K. beer Newcastle Brown Ale have invested in their first national TV spot. Launched April 2, the “No Bollocks” ad appears at first to be a dull and drawn out demonstration of the beer brewing process. But … wait for it … there’s a […]

No Comment: Boys Want Success, Girls Want Boys

A new Acuvue contact lens commercial aimed at teens reinforces both gender and racial stereotypes. The teens look forward to their futures. For the boys, these involve future career success—notice the African American teen dreams of being a famous athlete, while the white boy’s future involves moving up the corporate career ladder. And what does […]

No Comment: “Escort Quality, Hooker Pricing”

A sheep. In a sombrero. Next to a vodka bottle. With the tagline, “Escort Quality, Hooker Pricing.” Where do I begin? Well, let’s start with the facts: The NYC billboard is part of a Wodka campaign marketing its vodka as high quality and low price. Other billboards in the campaign read, “Lobstah Quality. Chowdah Pricing,” […]

No Comment: PETA Doesn’t Want You to Wear Your Own Hair, Either

Many of the issues we deal with here at Ms. are very cut-and-dry. Legislation to let a woman die on the hospital floor? Anti. The female orgasm (and woman-positive sex education)? Pro. Affording fetuses more rights than women? Again, anti. Then there’s ending exploitation and cruelty towards animals…Okay, we’re with you there… by exploiting women? […]

No Comment: “Use Your Natural Charm”

In three new ads featuring model Gisele Bündchen, Brazilian lingerie company Hope urges women to take off their clothes before breaking “bad” news to their male partners. The ads rely on the old saw that sex sells, but we’re willing to let that slide–after all, it’s lingerie. But these ads don’t sell lingerie with the […]

No Comment: A “Younger, Hotter” Virgin

Just in case we hadn’t fully internalized the message that women are most valued for their youth and beauty, Virgin America has introduced a new “younger, hotter” advertising campaign with slogans like “Fool around with a younger, hotter airline” (pictured left) and “Dump your old airline for a younger, hotter one.” 61-year-old Virgin CEO Richard […]

No Comment: Zazzle’s Pro-Anorexia Kids’ Tees

Last week, the online retailer Zazzle–which “empowers” customers to create custom T-shirts, cards and other paraphernalia–ended sales of a kids’ T-shirt and onesie that featured a pro-eating-disorder message in a scribbled font. The decision came only after the U.K. Advertising Standards Authority banned ads of the shirts for encouraging “an unsafe practice that may result […]

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