Sex Marketing


I´ve been getting into the habit of walking a little bit every day so I can train my feet, and if circumstances allow it, diminish or vanquish the CRPS/RSD (an illness of the nervous system affecting extremities). I walk from my house to a park in the middle of the city, where usually it´s not too crowded and I can rest a bit before venturing back. Usually I encounter several advertising spaces on the way.

This week I´ve been encountering ads by a local radio station. The ads are accompanied by a slogan “Get Your Summer On”, and depict three situations. In the first one, a dude with bare torso sticks a soft serve in his armpit. The second features a woman in a string bending over invitingly. The third one depicts a woman sitting on a couch with no underwear on at all, her legs spread wide, and a cat in between.

I haven´t named the radio station in question because controversy is exactly what they want. They´ve been in the news before, when they had an advertising campaign featuring girls licking a sausage. As usual, the message seems to be that if you are young and hip, you´ll just roll with it – because it is intended to be funny and lighthearted. It remains that the soft serve dude isn´t inviting sex.

It wouldn´t be the first time that sexism and outright objectification is portrayed as something that is a bit of fun and you should just get over it. In fact when I went online to see if there was any discussion about this at all, there were a lot of comments implying that “outside cultures made ours very regressive” (yes, it´s their fault) and that people who dislike it are mostly composed of “hipsters”.

The irony in all of this is that we had a news item recently in which the leading news broadcaster stated that the gay Pride in Amsterdam is still controversial in our country. Apparently, people aren´t all that into “men with bare upper bodies kissing each other”. Many think that the Pride is too obscene and that the message it gives off is not appropriate for all audiences.

I can see why you wouldn´t bring your kids to some Pride events -especially if the people involved are wearing leather and suggestive accessories – but the happenings at most Pride events are very mild and completely innocent compared to the posters made by the radio campaign. Talk about a double standard. I have yet to see a poster in which a dude bares his ass suggestively.

You can see the advertising campaign pictures here, as well as a satirical version, made by Yvette Luhrs (link here).


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