THE UN VERSUS SEXIST ADS – People of the world rejoice! Having achieved world piece, ended hunger, eliminated poverty, resettled refugees, vanquished disease and stopped all oppression and abuses of human rights, the United Nations has moved on to other global challenges:
Last week, the United Nations announced on Thursday that it will be partnering with companies like Johnson & Johnson, Google, Facebook, and Twitter to launch Unstereotype Alliance, a campaign to fight sexist ads that objectify and sexualize women to sell products.
“Every day, hundreds of millions of people around the world are exposed to the communications our industry creates,” Martin Sorrell, chief executive of major ad company WPP, told Huffington Post. “That influence can either be used to reinforce negative stereotypes or to set new standards of empowerment and equality.”
Today, sexist ads that seemed acceptable just a few years ago are starting to vanish. Consider when the last time you saw an offensive commercial from Carl’s Jr, Hardee’s, or GoDaddy.com — according to the Washington Post, these companies are done selling sex.
Sadly, this might be less due to some sort of moral revelation that exploiting women and reducing them to sex objects is wrong, and more because sex simply isn’t selling, according to a recent study.
“If the ‘sexy ads’ had been effective, it’s unlikely the company or ad agency would have made such a drastic change,” Professor John Wirtz of the University of Illinois said. “When product is moving, people don’t make changes.”
I am reminded of the London Mayor Saddiq Khan’s crusade against ads on subway that promote “unrealistic or unhealthy” body image.