Saucy forklift ad deemed offensive

Last updated 09:08 19/02/2013

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An ad for used forklifts featuring a ''sexualised and objectified'' woman in dominatrix-like clothing has earned a South Island company a slap on the wrist from the advertising watchdog.

The ad featured the woman holding a heavy chain, with a forklift in the background. The text read: ''You know you're not the first ... But does that really matter? Used Forklifts.''

The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a complaint that the ad was offensive, saying the advert used inappropriate sexual appeal.

The Advertising Code states products cannot be promoted through the use of exploitative or degrading sexual images, especially if the product is completely unrelated to such images, as was the case here.

The complainant said it was ''just offensive to see that women's bodies are used to sell a service that clearly targets men''.

''It becomes a sort of attention-seeking behaviour that is in many ways detrimental to how all women are viewed,'' the authority was told.

The advertiser, Independent Forklifts, said the campaign had been running for three years without complaint.

It also stated if the Jockey campaign featuring All Black Dan Carter in his underwear was acceptable, its imagery must be as well.

The Complaints Board said the Jockey ads were different as the product being sold was underwear.

The watchdog also said as the advert was on a vehicle, it would be highly visible to the general public, including children, rather than just its presumed target market of adult men.

If a complaint to the authority is upheld, the advertiser is asked to remove the ad, though there is no punishment.

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- The Dominion Post

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