G-string ad ‘unethical’ – Swedish watchdog

A picture of a woman clad only in a g-string with the jeans brand Lee stamped on a buttock is one of twelve ads which have fallen foul of a ethics watchdog set up to monitor gender discrimination in advertising.

The ad was distributed on a flyer outside a clothing store in Stockholm, and according to the Ethical Council against Discriminatory Advertising (ERK), it broke International Chamber of Commerce guidelines for advertising.

“In this case [brand owner] VF have used a picture focused on the woman’s backside to promote jeans in such a way that goes beyond what the council considers can be justified considering the product,” said ERK in its judgement.

It said the ad was an example of how women’s bodies are used as “an attention-grabber of a sexual nature”.

The majority of the twelve advertisements criticised by ERK featured scantily-clad women who had nothing to do with the product or event.

The twelve companies criticised are VF Scandinavia/Lee Jeans (flyer), Nordisk Film (web page), Spray (banner), Teac Scandinavia (newspaper advertisement), Svenska Shell (sales campaign), D-Style Event (poster), Tiffany Corner (newspaper advertisement), Lever Faberge/AXE (web page), Väskshopen in Landskrona (newspaper advertisement), Kuppa Bar in Kristianstad (poster), Club Marlin in Uppsala (poster), Multipoker (e-mail campaign).

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Louis Roper