WIZO named a television commercial for Sano Jet the most sexist advertisement of 2013, earning the Mark of Shame on Wednesday.
The campaign for the cleaning product shows two young girls competing over who has the perfect mother, the one more obsessed with cleaning and housework. The slogan reads, “To take care of family is to clean with Sano Jet.”
“Instead of taking a step forward, Sano sets us back through sophisticated representation of old-fashioned stereotypes that were acceptable 50 years ago and, judging by the commercial, will accompany our children for another 50 years,” said Gila Oshrat, chairwoman of WIZO Israel, the Women’s International Zionist Organization’s local branch.
Carolina Lemke’s television commercial featuring supermodel Bar Refaeli in bunny ears took second place, followed by Haaretz’s viral campaign depicting a couple having sex as the guy rates the girl’s performance.
Fourth place went to an ALDO Shoes campaign featuring a young girl in a provocative pose with the slogan “Give me ALDO.” Closing out the top five was Time Out’s “Watch your glass” campaign intended to raise awareness of date rape drugs.
“There is no doubt that this [sexual representations of women] has penetrated our society and twists the sexual perceptions of children and youth,” said Sharon Cherkesky, manager of the Mark of Shame campaign at WIZO.
The winning ad was announced at an event marking International Women’s Day at the Cinematheque in Tel Aviv, which addressed the effect of sexist advertising on youth.
Attendees included MKs Michal Rozin (Meretz) and Dr. Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid), chairwoman of the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women and Gender Equality, as well as WIZO volunteers and representatives gathered for the occasion.
Lavie said at the opening of the conference that she was offended by an Israel Postal Company commercial, which fell short of the top five, depicting an elderly woman “enjoying” a robber searching her body. She said this advertisement was especially troubling because it advertises for a government organization.
This is the sixth year that WIZO has identified television and print advertisements that depict women negatively. The Mark of Shame campaign aims to change how women are represented in advertising and to raise awareness of the social damage advertisements can cause when exploiting the female body image.
A jury comprised of members of Knesset, professional women and experts on feminism and media including Rozin; Prof. Hanna Herzog, head of the NCJW Women and Gender Studies Program at Tel Aviv University; and Orit Sulitzeanu, head of the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, chose this year’s winner.
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