Sexist Brut ad banned – but not for being sexist.

brut ad freeze frame

If you aren’t aware of the sorts of adverts that are used to sell lad’s products such as Brut or Lynx then you’re a lucky person, it seems like they’re unavoidable these days if you watch television, read magazines or even glance at billboards. As soon as one sexist advert stops being aired, another one all too quickly takes its place. Does anyone remember the Brut advert in which a blonde barbie like doll was put into a machine and transformed into a real, tanned, surgically enchanced bikini clad woman? What about the Lynx advert in which it is proved that “Girls look hot wet – guys don’t”. A woman, waving her wet hair around in slow motion, perfectly made up and wearing a wet, almost see-through top is declared to be ‘hot’ while of course the male “eqivalent” – a guy ogloing her with sweaty wet underarm patches ‘is not’.

Is it just me or does anyone notice a pattern here, they all use the same idea for every advert they make. It must be sex and it must feature at least one half naked sexualised female. The message is that 1) women are sexy and should be ogled at accordingly and 2) The only way to get a woman is through smelling nice – which of course means buying Lynx (Axe) or Brut.

Oh and their tag line “Still brutally male” since when is being a sexist ogling pervert the only way to make you a male?
The latest in the long line of sexist Brut ad’s is the “Stop and share” advert in which a group of young males spot a blonde female stereotype dressed in tiny binki walking along the beach and perv on her. Once “spotted” the male nudges his friends so that they can all “share” and ogle her together, stating “ohh” and “pwoar” just to make it completely clear what they are doing. We as the audience are then deliberately invited to look: cut to a close up of only her bouncing breasts and midrif for a few seconds and then continue with the jingle: “You gotta spot and share, because, fellas, it’s just what’s right”.

The message is strong and clear. Women are sexualised and exist in this ad soley to be looked at by men, the focus is breasts and bum. Guys are entitled to ogle and “share” their “phwoar’s” and ratings with friends. Some could dismiss this a “just a bit of fun” but what impression is it really setting for young males and females who can’t see through the money making objectives of advertising.

The good news is that it has been banned, the bad news is that the problem found with it is not it’s clear sexism, but the fact that the male characters aren’t wearing seatbelts and sitting safely in their car. Sure, safety is important but something tells me that being careless with car safety isn’t this ad’s main message. Sexism is fine, it would seem, but seatbelts are a whole different ballgame.

Melinda Tankard Reist talks about the Brut advert in her article here.

The youtube clip of it is here.

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2 Comments

  1. Posted July 26, 2010 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Along with everything else you said, I think this can be seen as insulting to men as well. What these ads are telling young men is that they should be wanting to attract as many attractive women as possible and if they’re not interested in that, then obviously something is wrong. My boyfriend gets mad at ads like this for precisely the same reason. These ads are just flashing skin to try and get guys to buy their products and I know a lot of men who are sick of this. They would like to see ads that treat them as something other than sex crazed maniacs, just like women would like to see ads that portray us as something other than sex objects. I totally agree with everything you said in your post, just thought I’d point out that it’s also an example of the patriarchy hurting men as well.

    • Posted July 26, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely, Sarah. Of course it can be insulting to men too – the sorts of male characters that are displayed in these “fun” adverts are complete male chauvinistic stereotypes that objectify women and have no problem doing so. They are pretty much saying that to attract a man to this advert and product they have to use female bodies – is definitely not the type of person any male should look up to. It’s almost insulting to their intelligence too by insinuating that using this deodorant is the only way they can get female company.

      Thanks for your comment, I’m glad to have somewhere to post these kinds of things amongst like-minded people, rather than the usual places full of people that accuse me of just being “a fat old jealous chick” of which I am none of those things (I prefer lady over chick). Because of course, you can’t have any problems with sexism unless you’re ugly right?

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