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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!

limitedperiodonly Fri 03-May-13 09:55:39

Oh, I see you're off on holiday. Have a good one.

limitedperiodonly Fri 03-May-13 09:53:16

Email the solicitors thanking them for their response and updating them on the dealer's provocative and childish act. They won't be happy and will take more action. It makes AM look awful and all brands are extremely protective of their image.

Contact your local police Safer Neighbourhoods Team about this too. That message is an aggressive challenge and the SNT are all about keeping peace in the community.

They'll probably send a couple of officers to tell the manager to stop winding people up.

Good luck.

AllSWornOut Thu 02-May-13 20:31:10

Hey, that's a good response from AM, rather less impressive from the dealership angry Don't let them intimidate you (easier said than done I'm sure) and definitely tell AM's solicitor about their childish response. The fact they have reacted means that AM have put a rocket up their arse despite "being outside their franchise network" so they obviously have influence and will most likely be unimpressed by this kind of antic.

Well done for standing up for what is right.

PS My DH is also a feminist (although I'm not sure he'd self-associate with the term he demonstrates he is through his behaviour every day) and I fully intend for DS to be feminist as well. At least he already has a great role model in his Dad.

anklebitersmum Thu 02-May-13 12:21:29

GandalfsHat yup grin

GandalfsHat Thu 02-May-13 12:14:32

Do you think I should link the nice guy at AM to this thread?

Tau Thu 02-May-13 12:12:37

That's repulsive. It would certainly put me off buying in that shop, and even buying any Aston Martin car.

Like others said, contact AM - if it is a fake they won't be pleased that it is being used!
If it is not a fake, report it to ASA.

Startail Thu 02-May-13 12:10:34

Well done OP for following this up.

l'm generally a very liberal feminist, normally in hassle for not being very bothered about Pg.3 etc. but that is poster is vile.

I have two DDs (12 and 15) and I can't think of a nice way to explain that image to them.

K8Middleton Thu 02-May-13 12:08:18

God that's a revolting ad and well done for challenging it. Definitely complain to ASA too.

In the spirit of challenging iffy opinions it may not be "a man" who rolls his eyes. Sadly some women are ignorant and misogynists too. Yes, there are such things as feminist men (I'm married to one smile) and yes, you can try to raise feminist children regardless of their sex.

anklebitersmum Thu 02-May-13 12:05:32

Oh my word! Take another of the offending "Are you happy now?" and send on to AM again.

Well done you though, have to admit I thought 'pah' until I saw the ad blush

GandalfsHat Thu 02-May-13 11:59:32

Thanks AlwaysOne.

KirstyoffEastenders Thu 02-May-13 11:59:13

Good for you, that's absolutely brilliant! grin

tribpot Thu 02-May-13 11:58:40

Very intrigued as to how the showroom can be outside their franchise network. Is it actually just a second hand car shop which chooses to specialise in Aston Martin, in other words infringing their brand?

It's good the poster has been turned around so it's not visible from the street but the fact is that they shouldn't be displaying it, even if it weren't grotesquely offensive. I would notify AM of the actions of the showroom, not least so it establishes an audit trail in case the showroom staff do try to retaliate. They'd have to be mad to but then they clearly are not in full possession of their faculties if they think that 'advert' is fit for public consumption.

GandalfsHat Thu 02-May-13 11:56:28

You're right Flowers, it does make me feel very uneasy. I haven't e-mailed the solicitor back yet, I'll mention it. It's still there, it has just been turned around, so you see the back of the mounting board from the street, with the note stuck to it. But you can't see the image.

AlwaysOneMissing Thu 02-May-13 11:56:01

This is absolutely disgusting. The whole thing, especially them turning the ad around with that aggressive message displayed. Bastards.
You did the right thing op, that ad makes my blood boil, if I had to walk past it with my toddler boys every day I would be furious. You have done a good thing, be confident and sure of yourself - you are in the right and even have backing from AM themselves!
You feel uncomfortable about this because we have been conditioned to know our place and to put up with this shit in 'good humour' so as not to upset the poor men who were just having a laugh.

FlowersBlown Thu 02-May-13 11:48:22

Also, I am not convinced about how fake a lot of these 'fake ads' are. It seems to be a good way for companies to get the publicity they want by using methods that are not usually permissible.

FlowersBlown Thu 02-May-13 11:46:45

I wouldn't be happy with that at all. They are being quite aggressive in their attitude. You are beginning to feel threatened and uneasy about the situation. This is not acceptable.

ISeeSmallPeople Thu 02-May-13 11:44:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GandalfsHat Thu 02-May-13 11:33:45

Morning all,

Update: I had a very nice e-mail from AM solicitors yesterday afternoon, saying that AM strongly objects to the unauthorised, spoof ad, and they share the offence it causes. They work very hard to have it removed as soon as it's identified. This dealership is outside their franchise network and they will see how they can resolve it.

I have just walked past there on my way to and from the supermarket and it had been turned around, with a note taped at the back saying 'Are you happy now?'. So someone obviously doesn't get it and I feel totally vindicated in my decision not to deal with the dealership but to go to AM directly. I didn't know about the dealership/franchise setup, to me it's a AM showroom selling AM cars. Regardless, it's 'gone'.

Anyway, we're off on holiday tomorrow, I wonder if I'll come home to rotten eggs through the letterbox? grin I did cc the local paper and mag, I regret doing that and kind of hope nothing comes of it. Off to pack, I wonder if it will jinx the weather if I pack sunscreen?

Peace and love x

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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?

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