Volkswagen Advertisement Banned From Radio For Comparing Women To Wild Animals

Volkswagen Advertisement Banned From Radio For Comparing Women To Wild Animals. The Advertising Regulatory Board has ruled that a Volkswagen radio advertisement is stereotypical against women, which ended up in it having to be pulled down.

The Advertising Regulatory Board has ruled that a Volkswagen radio advertisement is stereotypical against women, which ended up in it having to be pulled down. The advert portrays a man in a mall who escorts a woman who is shopping for shoes. The voice over supposedly describes the scene at the shopping mall with a 50% sale on shoes.

“It’s dusk and you in unfamiliar territory, surrounded by predators hunting for fresh prey. And they found it. 50% off all shoes. They attack, lunging mercilessly,” says the voice over advert. The voice over then says, “As you guard the 12 shopping bags, seated on a bench alongside the other men, you watch the feeding frenzy take place. This is Shoe Sale Country and you don’t belong here, man. This is not your habitat, so go where you belong in the V6 Amarok…” Professor Susan Goldstein from the School of Public Health at the Wits University was the one who laid a complaint at the Advertising Regulatory Board.

The professor says the advertisement is sexist. She states that the advertisement is gender stereotyping and in the atmosphere of toxic masculinity and among the largest numbers of gender based violence in the world, this is bad. Volkswagen says that the advertisement is meant to be a parody, which does not portray or promote violence against a gender. The vehicle manufacturer says it is a harmless exaggeration of a real life scene that is meant to entertain the people listening. It is also reported that only one person complained about the advertisement. The Advertising Regulatory Board acknowledged that the vehicle manufacturer was using it as a hyperbole and overstates a scene for laughs.

However, it also debates that the employment of gender stereotypes in advertisements gives in to gender inequality in the South African society. The advertisement has supposedly created a gender stereotype that men do not like to go shopping and they feel out of place in a shoe sale atmosphere. It was also stated that the stressing of the word ‘man’, asking ‘man’ to come test drive the car is for men, advertised for men and used by men. “The overall take out is that there are certain environments in which either men or women are more comfortable and where they naturally belong-women are comfortable shopping for shoes and men are comfortable driving high-end bakkies,” says the Advertising Regulatory Board. The board asked Volkswagen to drop the drop the advertisement, and also asked stations that are representatives of the board not to play it.

by Alexandra Ramaite

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