WIZO campaign highlights year’s ‘most sexist advertisements’

WIZO has run campaign for second year in a row.

By
March 3, 2010 22:43
2 minute read.
A billboard for Do It Kitchens.

sexist ad 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Ahead of International Women’s Day next Monday, the Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO) announced mock awards Wednesday for what the nonprofit organization has termed the “most sexist advertisements” of the year.

The five “winners,” including a mix of television commercials and billboard ads from some of the country’s most well-known local and international manufacturers, show women in either an inappropriate sexual capacity or in a degrading conjugal role, said those judging the contest.

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Listed as the top five Most Sexist Advertisements for 2009 are ads from Fairy dish liquid, AXE deodorant, Goldstar Beer, the morning-after contraceptive pill by Postinor, and DO IT Kitchen’s print campaign.

The judges, a mix of professional women and high-profile experts on feminism, will hand out certificates of recognition to the companies in a ceremony to be held in Tel Aviv next week.

“The companies have been invited to the event, but none of them have responded,” Sheana Shechterman, director of the campaign against sexist advertisements and a political lobbyist for WIZO, told The Jerusalem Post Wednesday.

This is the second year WIZO has run such a campaign.

“The goal of the campaign is twofold,” explained Shechterman. “Firstly, it is an issue of how these ads educate and influence society – they send out negative images that can be dangerous for women. And we also want to encourage people to be aware of such negativity and not buy a certain product if the commercial that promotes it is hurtful to you. There are so many choices in the supermarket; chose something else.”

Shechterman said that the Fairy ad had been awarded first prize in the competition because it depicted a family situation in which the woman or mother was left to wash up all the dishes alone while her husband and the male relatives watched her.

“I really don’t know why they chose to depict women in this way,” Shechterman said of Fairy, highlighting that WIZO had contacted all the companies featuring sexist ads, in a bid to remove the negative images from TV screens.

“Their previous advertisements included men washing dishes, so I really don’t know why they did this,” she said. “Our theory here is that when a company does not have a good idea for an ad, they just chose a sexist option. It’s not even a good advertisement.”

The “awards” ceremony will take place on Monday evening at the Tel Aviv Opera House.


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