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How to respond to an poster advert in a local shop

(93 Posts)
GandalfsHat Wed 24-Apr-13 07:18:41


I'm think I can take a joke and are not usually offended, but I have seen a poster in a window of a local car showroom that has left me uncomfortable. I would like to write an e-mail to the company to take it down, but I'm not really sure what to write! I don't want a man to read it, roll their eyes and take it down just because someone complained, I'd like them to really think about it, if that makes sense? Can anyone that is more seasoned in feminist arguments help me with this please?

The showroom sells second hand Aston Martins. It is just down the road from my home and I walk past it almost daily. The poster is a a beautifully taken photograph of a woman in a modern high gloss obviously very expensive kitchen. Her back is to the camera. she wears a white shirt and sheer tights, the shirt is pulled up so you can see her bottom. She wears high heels and has loose long hair. One knee is on the kitchen counter as if she is climbing up onto the counter. The caption then goes on to say 'Just because you're not the first, doesn't mean you don't want to'. It all attempts to look very classy.

It just leaves me uneasy. The implication is clear. But how do I formulate a good argument against it from a feminist perspective?
-it is blatantly sexist, it clearly uses sex to sell a second hand car
-do they think women cannot buy/drive/afford aston martins? as it is clearly aimed at men.
-the stereotype of the women in the kitchen ready to please just does my head in.
-I think it is a bit suggestive considering it is on the way to a local park/near the co-op and families walk past it every day, I'm don't my sons to grow up with these myths about women (they're only little though, toddlers)
-why is it an issue how many men a woman has slept with. Why do a man have to be the first, or think he is the first, to want to have sex with a woman, because that seems to be the implication.
I had a look on the AM website, the same ad is not there.

Sorry for this mammoth post, if you made it this far!

bishboschone Thu 25-Apr-13 06:35:14

I'm not a feminist but I've seen that advert and its just ridiculous ..

ItsAllTLAsToMe Thu 25-Apr-13 06:50:47

bish, the only ending to a sentence that begins 'I'm not a feminist' should be 'because I don't believe that males and females should have equal opportunities, and should be treated equally.'. Otherwise, I suspect you're saying 'I don't particularly identify myself as a feminist'.

Awful advert / decision by local branch. Good luck, OP.

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Thu 25-Apr-13 08:50:06

Christ, that ad is bad.

It's like something out of the 60s. I thought Mad Men's "Jaguar: At last, something beautiful you can truly own" was bad enough (though of course totally in fitting with the era), but this - 50 years on, FFS! - makes that seem positively tame in comparison. confused

Shamelessly marking place on thread so see how this pans out - good luck OP, we are all behind you. smile

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Thu 25-Apr-13 08:51:34

For anyone not familiar with Mad Men, the whole Jaguar campaign was based on the idea of sexy-car-as-mistress trope.

bishboschone Thu 25-Apr-13 09:05:17

Ok .. I stand corrected. I guess I was just saying feminism isn't particularly high on my agenda but that advert hit a nerve with me.

ItsAllTLAsToMe Thu 25-Apr-13 09:34:53

bish, I just tiptoed back into the thread to see if you'd replied grin. I didn't mean to be rude, please accept my apologies.

bishboschone Thu 25-Apr-13 10:02:57

Ah no

dozily Thu 25-Apr-13 10:19:11

Horrible advert and I doubt Aston Martin HQ will be exactly thrilled - hardly fits their classy image. Will be interesting to hear how they respond. Either way I doubt the poster will last much longer!

YohedYoshoulderYonisandYotoes Thu 25-Apr-13 14:46:16

I think you should push for an article in the Daily Mail 'How offensive ad got me an Aston Martin for my holidays' and get AM to apologise, say they treat things seriously, that sometimes humour gets out of hand, how Aston Martins are womens' cars as well, and that as a gesture and in the spirit of 'well-spotted' AM are happy to loan you a vehicle insurance and expenses paid in exchange for your review of the vehicle and a message about how dealers can soften the macho image and appeal to a full range of potential AM customers.. grin

YohedYoshoulderYonisandYotoes Thu 25-Apr-13 14:48:32

At least that is what I would do if I were working in AM PR.. Also I would have an alert set up that would have picked up this discussion long ago and posted officially thanking you and telling you how it was to be resolved, how the ad came to be, and how they are sorry that it was used 'officially' when it shouldn't have been and that a warning has gone out across the dealer network thanks to you..

anyway, that's just me! See what they say?! (perhaps MNHQ can take this on for you?!)

squeaver Thu 25-Apr-13 14:58:08

I think you're doing the right thing with your email but I would actually send it to AM HQ, copying in the dealership and asking them (HQ) what they intend to do about it. Obviously they are taking this sort of thing seriously and I'm sure they will take a dim view of the dealership.

GandalfsHat Tue 30-Apr-13 23:00:36

Sorry I have not got back to this, but I passed it again today, with a bunch of men standing in front of the window, sniggering at the joke. Gah.

Is the wording of this email ok? English is not my first language, so an improvements are most welcome. It thought of emailling AM directly, cc'ing own local news mag.


Dear Sir/ Madam,

RE: Advertising in XXXX Aston Martin Showroom, XXX.

I have, yet again, passed the advertising poster (please see attached photo) whilst walking from my home to the Co-op today, as I have the best part of the past two weeks, and I have had my fill of it. An image that is essentially soft porn with a seedy slogan, intended to sell pre-owned cars, is not one I want to look at every day, nor do I want my sons exposed to the values it espouses. I could explain the ways in which the image and its implications offend, but I suspect it may be lost on a business that seems to consider this appropriate imagery to display in a showroom situated on the way to a nursery school, the park, the local supermarket, and amongst the residences of several families.

A quick google search shows that Aston Martin denounced this image earlier this year when it started to circulate. According to this blogger

and the response he received from Aston Martin's solicitors, the issue seems to be with the use of the 'wings' device on the fake advertising. A typo is also visible (pre-owed). On the poster displayed in the dealership window, the 'wings' device is replaced with their own logo, and the typo is corrected. Therefore, this advertising poster seems to have been quite a deliberate creation on the dealers' part. I am at a loss as to how anyone thought this is appropriate advertising.

Could you please advise as to how this can be removed from the showroom?

Yours faithfully

My full name and address.

dumbelina Tue 30-Apr-13 23:14:37

Very well written I would say. Definitely gets the point across clearly and succinctly.

GandalfsHat Wed 01-May-13 06:48:26

Bumping for the morning crowd.

dozily Wed 01-May-13 07:31:48

Sounds good. Can't believe it's still up there though! Good luck

msrisotto Wed 01-May-13 07:49:38

Yes, good please send it. I hate it and am surprised that it is still up.

DaffodilAdams Wed 01-May-13 07:52:42

That email is pitched perfectly.

So sad that this needs to be done. All those arguing against removing page 3 - this is exactly the type of culture it is promoting and why it has wider implications than just been seen by those who read it. It just promotes that women are commodities.

GandalfsHat Wed 01-May-13 09:33:27

It's gone. My heart is racing a bit. I'm not really the crusading type, but this has really got to me.

Have sent it to AM CEO Ulrich Bez.

Now to wait and see if anything comes of it...

tribpot Wed 01-May-13 09:43:52

Your email is good. I would send it to the local paper as well - that image is completely inappropriate and far worse than what I was expecting when I clicked on the link.

And btw WTF is she doing? Kitchen pilates in a pair of heels?

AllSWornOut Wed 01-May-13 09:55:33

I saw your thread earlier and the image has been playing on my mind ever since. It is absolutely appalling.

I was going to suggest a more punchy email but I see you've already sent it. If you do have any more correspondence with AM you should be asking them for a copy of their CSR policy (corporate social responsibility) and how they manage their dealership individual advertising - there must be policy for this.

I would also be pointing out in more direct terms that it is misogynistic and pornographic in equal measures and the company should be ashamed to have such an image associated with their corporate image - even if it is a spoof they should have been informing their dealerships that it shouldn't be used under any circumstances.

GandalfsHat Wed 01-May-13 10:03:52

WornOut those are such good arguments! Perhaps you could tweet the ceo, i think he is on twitter. Waiting for a reply now.

KoreRenati Wed 01-May-13 13:52:07

Well done on sending the email. that is a horrible ad.

AllSWornOut Wed 01-May-13 20:11:44

I will look at twitter but please keep us updated on any response you get. Well done for sending the email in the first place smile

NeedsTherapy Wed 01-May-13 20:30:58

Place marking. I'm shocked and discussed at the advert.

MiniTheMinx Wed 01-May-13 21:44:03

Well done OP

The implication from that ad seems to be of that old sexist saying "everyone wants to ride the bicycle but no one wants to maintain it" It implies that the women is used and second hand goods despite being sleek and attractive. Absolutely sick.

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