I’m aware that the advert is a ‘spoof’, as in it was previously a Burger King advert and presumably they had no intention of posting it in magazines and ensuring it conformed to ASA’s standards of acceptability.
However, they posted it on their Facebook page with a 165k like’s, and used the caption ‘Poor Woman…(or maybe lucky one?), which was my main concern, especially for a company that should promote healthy sex, not create a link between sex and violence.
Durex UK posted this on their Facebook page on Wednesday, with the caption “Poor woman…(or maybe lucky one)?”
Maybe I’ve had a complete sense of humour failure, rendering me with a complete inability to see a picture of an injured women with plasters on her face as anything but a woman who’s high on her luck that week. I was under the misapprehension that half of the fun of sex lies in the woman also having a good time. This advert doesn’t show a woman having a good time, it shows her injured, a victim of PR sexual depravity. The whole advert is just another step towards normalising sexual violence against women. Durex should have stopped their caption at ‘Poor woman.’
The World Health Organisation defines sexual violence as including “physically forced or otherwise coerced penetration of the vulva or anus with a penis, other body part or object.” This advert glorifies sexual violence and helps create an unhealthy stereotype of women as sexual objects. A simple google search for ‘sexual violence against women’ leads you to endviolenceagainstwomen.org.uk which cites a poll by Amnesty in 2005 which revealed that a third of people believe women who flirt are partially responsible for being raped and a quarter of those asked said that they thought a women was partially or totally responsible for being raped if she was wearing sexy or revealing clothing. This fusion of sex and violence isn’t just taking place in Darfur, its also present in huge multinational companies like Durex who posted this on a Facebook page with 167,301 likes.
The marketing of dangerous activities can have a reinforcing effect when presented in such a ‘light-humoured’ way; it’s part of an emerging culture where manhood is synonymous with power and control over women - that isn’t necessarily a new concept but the format its taking is. It’s hilarious banter lolz when True Lad post jokes about rape and New Look sell misogynist T-shirts demeaning women to permanently sexually available things that are always up for it, and hey! Even if they’re not, they might be secretly, just try it! Really it’s a farcical parody of masculinity, but apparently this isn’t clear to a company that acknowledges on its Facebook page that “sex plays a fundamental role in our physical and emotional wellbeing.”
Durex is promoting an ideology of women that is only seen in the most gory porn - one where the man achieves his sexual gratification by leaving the women with injuries at the end of it. The injuries sustained here are covered by plasters, perhaps Durex realised that it wouldn’t be acceptable to show a woman with open wounds at the side of her mouth, perhaps it’s not ‘sexy.’ However, it felt it was acceptable to show the wounds covered up and hidden, akin to a woman wearing sunglasses to hide the black eye she’s received.
The cut-off of the rest of the face removes any emotion, she has stopped being a person and become a sexual receptacle, for which she’s supposed to be grateful. His penis was SO HUGE that it caused injury, what a lucky lady! Banter lolz flooded the Facebook page, with many comments praising Durex for posting the image.
It’s unclear where the line becomes crossed in releasing adverts, or indeed if there is a line at all, when looking at adverts such as this. Does the faceless woman have to be shown with bruising or teeth knocked out before the advertisers would consider it to be glorifying violence against women and unsuitable? “Poor woman…(or maybe lucky one)?” reiterates this point, this woman has been sexually assaulted and her mouth has torn open, but she should really be grateful for his large penis.
The advert plagues me with greater concerns than the consideration of whether to have a shag in the near future. My biggest concern is that I live in a society where women aren’t being treated as human beings, rather they’re sexual playthings, becoming victims by their presence of XX chromosomes and tits. I’m unaware of the memo that went out endorsing sexual violence as an advertising tool but Durex hit the spot with this advert.
EDIT: Just posting Durex UK’s posting of it, to clear up any confusion since the image has now been deleted:
It appears the advert is a spoof advert, taken originally from a Burger King advert and Durex reposted it with the addition of ‘Durex XXL’ on the image, just to clear up any confusion. However, I feel this doesn’t take away from the main point of a company posting this to 167,301 people, with the above caption. My point of Durex glamorising violence and demeaning women is still a valid one, sadly.
I might have had a few glasses of wine by the time I emailed Nick….At the time I thought it was light humoured and a witty take on the Apprentice episodes, but I actually sound as if I smoked crack cocaine before deciding that I should spend my evening emailing Nick before I went and shat on a neighbours door in protest at them playing loud music past half nine on a Wednesday night. Maybe I was just grieving the lack of new Apprentice episodes in my life. Maybe.
We were big fans of you on the show, and were absolutely devastated when you and your hair didn’t become Sugar’s numero uno!
Just a quick email to spread some blue sky thinking about how we could get you ‘outside the box’ and into our speaking hall! We would LOVE to have you speak as you talk about your time on the apprentice, and some tips on how to get into business. Also some app-development ideas maybe as we’d like to start our own, centered around a game involving pineapples! We’d also love it if you were able to show us how you get your hair so fine, so maybe bring some hairspray! LOL!!
Love to hear from you,
I’m not entirely surprised he hasn’t replied. Not surprised, just disappointed.
I don’t know know where my Apprentice liveblogs have gone but they’re not anywhere that seems to be remotely accessible without me having to sacrifice a goat to Steve Jobs in a sacred ritual, using only an app and the blood of three children. It seems that my my witty caricature of Adam as a sulky albino baby and Jenna as a honking Northern goose is lost forever. I’ve sulked, screamed and now entered the next stage of grief: emailing the candidates as a slightly deranged fan looking to book them for speaking arrangements.
I was a big fan of you on The Apprentice, and was extremely happy to
find that you offer your skills as a motivational speaker on your
website. Having seen you in action, the series was a testament to your
obvious skills, as I loved your catchphrases and cheeky mannerisms. It
was a devastating blow when Lord Sugar fired you, but I am happy to
see that this has not stopped you in your tracks. After all, Rome
wasn’t built in a day!
I’ll cut through the mustard Adam, and state now that this is an
enquiry email to ask how much you normally charge for your speeches.
We would love to see some of your blue-sky thinking in action, as you
talk outside the box, and shoot us (metaphorically) into the stars.
Amazingly he replied.
Thank you for your kind words. The speaking is going really well and is a breath of fresh air to most people. Rates all depend on when, where and who to really? Please email me more details and when you would want me and we can go from there.
Thank you. If there are any problems then please feel free to give me a call on the number below.
I don’t know why he replied and didn’t just send me an online restraining order but I see this as an invitation to contact him again. Repeatedly.
Fifteen candidates remain, as Lord Sir Alan Sugar looks for the Marks to his Spencer, his pie to his gravy and the boring to his Ed Sheeran. I’m fairly anxious to find out who’s the next candidate to go after Bulgarian Bilyana bit the bullet last week into the black cab. The main focus of this episode is that Alan Sugar wants a dog he can invest £250,000 into, and use it to control the world’s media, by targeting Larry the cat at No.10
This week it’s invention - the candidates must create a new household gadget and pitch it to some of the UK’s biggest retailers. I vaguely remember a gadget for holding your books when you’re on the beach before, because of course, those double-amputee beach fans are a lucrative market. I hope they create a tap for gin.