Lingerie retailer FIX was cited Tuesday as creator of 2011’s “Most Sexist Ad,”
for an online commercial that encouraged young women to photograph themselves in
nothing but a bra.
The Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO)
announced FIX as the winner of its annual competition – which highlights
commercials that particularly degrade and objectify women – at a special mock
ceremony held in conjunction with the Knesset Committee for the Advancement of
The event was designed to mark International Women’s Day, which
will take place Thursday.
“FIX crossed the red line of using the female
body as a mere sexual object,” said WIZO Israel chairwoman Gila
“In order to sell a bra, they needed to have young women strip.
The assumption that sex sells is too high a price for our society and there must
be stricter limits for marketing and advertising,” she added.
commercials made it to the final round of the competition, including ads by AXE
deodorant, the Proportzia cosmetic surgery clinic, Goldstar Beer and Do It!
FIX’s winning commercial encouraged young women to
photograph themselves in only a bra and upload the photos onto the company’s
Facebook page for public viewing.
This is the fourth year that WIZO has
identified television and print commercials that portray women in a negative way
or depict them in weak or derogatory positions. The final selection was chosen
by a panel of professional women and high-profile experts on
“All the advertisements selected reflect a grim picture of
women and girls being shown from degrading and humiliating perspectives that not
only distort perceptions but create a primitive image of woman and the
relationship between the sexes,” said Oshrat.
She said many of the
commercials contained pornographic elements or were entrenched in stereotypes of
women as submissive, superficial, dependent or stupid.
Oshrat called on
the Second Authority for Television and Radio to enforce stricter ethical
standards for these mediums and to expand its definition of what “hurts public
feelings” – to include portrayals of women that are degrading or perpetuate
Speaking in the committee following the mock awards
ceremony, advertising executive Danny Nettler said the problem had less to do
with how women are portrayed in commercial advertising, and more to do with
their overall standing in society.
“Advertising is not education, it is
just a way to sell a product,” he said.
“We do not shape the nation’s
views and you should be dealing with the problem and not simply shooting the
Committee chairwoman MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) said,
however, that Israeli prime-time television programs are guilty of presenting
women as only a “body with no soul.”
“Even though the Advertising
Standards Authority is not the Education Ministry, it could at least show some
responsibility and chose not to transmit content that is humiliating and
degrading [to] women,” she said, adding that she planned to submit legislation
that would heavily fine advertisers who degrade women.