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Gender and Ethics in Advertising: The New CSR Frontier?

8/08/2011

Earlier this year, Got Milk released an ad series targeting men who evidently suffer greatly when their female partners have PMS. Change.org created a petition denouncing the pictures that showed cowering men holding cartons of milk, with quotes over their heads like “I’m sorry for not reading between the right lines.” The campaign came complete with a website just for men, www.everythingidoiswrong.org, that featured an “emergency milk locator” and a “Global PMS Scale.”

Another ad, for the domain provider GoDaddy.com,  features the race car driver Danica Patrick and the celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels, wearing nothing but heels and the GoDaddy logo. With big hair and heavy makeup, the two stroll on the set as “GoDaddy Girls,” where two jokes are made about Michaels getting the “double Ds.”

Meanwhile women visiting the local drugstore to pick up some deodorant have the option to buy Degree, a choice that is “extra responsive in emotional moments.”

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