WIZO names 2011 ‘Most Sexist Ad' award finalists

Women's group slams Isracard, Goldstar, L’Oreal for ads portraying women in weak, derogatory positions.

March 4, 2012 22:26
2 minute read.
AXE deodorant ad

AXE deodorant ad 390. (photo credit: YouTube)


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Credit card provider Isracard, Israeli-brewed beer Goldstar and international beauty product manufacturer L’Oreal are among those shortlisted for creating the “Most Sexist Advertisement” of 2011, the Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO) announced on Sunday.

This is the third year that WIZO has identified television and print advertisements that portray women in weak or derogatory positions, as part of an anti-sexism campaign to mark International Women’s Day on Wednesday.

The women’s organization will announce the “winner” at a mock ceremony in the Knesset on Tuesday, in coordination with the parliamentary Committee on the Status of Women.

Among those included in a top 10 list of most sexist commercials are Isracard’s “Tagidi lo” (“Tell him”) television ad featuring celebrity British fashion journalists Susannah and Trinny; lingerie chain store Afrodita’s newspaper ads; billboards for AXE deodorant; and kitchen designers Do It, for showing a woman sitting in a Martini cocktail glass. Goldstar beer’s “Give thanks you’re a man” television ad was also cited.

AXE, Goldstar and Do It have been highlighted in the past by WIZO for producing particularly chauvinist ads.

“The advertisements that have been selected present a grim picture of how women and girls are often shown in degrading and humiliating ways,” WIZO Israel chairwoman Gila Oshrat said.

“They perpetuate some very distorted and primitive perceptions of women and continue to promote an old-fashioned attitude of the relationship between the sexes.”

Oshrat pointed out that some of the commercials contain elements that could be considered pornographic, and stereotypes “entrenched in showing women as submissive and superficial.”

She said that this year, the issue of how women are portrayed in mass media is particularly sensitive following attempts by some in the ultra-Orthodox community to erase the presence of women from public life.

Tuesday’s event at the legislature will also include a discussion with a wide range of parliamentarians, including Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, high profile journalists and media professionals, academics and representatives of the marketing and advertising sector. The goal of the debate is to find a way to improve the portrayal of women in popular commercials.

A panel of professional women and experts on feminism, including Dr. Ronnie Halpern, head of the gender studies program at Beit Berl College, Michal Rozin, CEO of the Association of Rape Crisis Centers, attorney Liat Klein, blogger and researcher Shlomit Lir, and senior professionals from WIZO select the most sexist ads.

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