Since the beginning of the year, the Council for Preventing Discrimination and Ensuring Equality has received twelve complaints alleging violation of dignity, finding five of them to have merit. At the same time, the Anti-discrimination Council reports in a press release that the number of requests from advertisers seeking approval for billboard images before publishing them has also increased.
In April alone, the Council found two such violations. Both cases involved ads published on social media depicting nude women accompanying suit-clad men. The Council held that the depiction underlined the women’s inferior position while using nudity as a selling tool.
It dismissed the advertisers’ argument that the images represented works of photographic art protected under freedom of speech, countering that their publishing on official accounts of commercial organizations proved their mercantile ascendency.
As a result, the Council found the images to be sexist; they violated human dignity while perpetuating gender stereotypes.
In yet another case, a towing business advertised its services by running the slogan: “When your baby is not in the mood anymore, we’ll pull her for you” (adapted translation). The Council criticized it as both containing a sexual innuendo and promoting a culture of sexual abuse.
The Council issued cease-and-desist letters in these cases.
Under the Law on Publicity, sexist advertising is defined as any form of advertising that portrays women or men as objects of sexual desire in ways that offend human dignity or promote discriminatory stereotypes, such as perpetuating the perception of women being weak, vulnerable, dependent or socially inferior.