Friday, October 17, 2008

Pepsi For A Rape Opportunity

image

Well there it is, Pepsi's latest ad campaign.  What exec looked at this and thought gee what a great idea, trading a Pepsi for the opportunity to rape an unconscious woman.

When I first came across this via the F WORD, something in me felt so incredibly sad.  It is not because I have a connection to Pepsi, in fact I don't even drink the stuff.  The daily ugliness that women are subjected to is beyond appalling.  It's bad enough that in real life women are beaten, raped, verbally abused and murdered without seeing advertising like this that normalizes this behaviour.

I am constantly reading descriptions of feminists as angry women, but when daily things like this are seen as just the cost of doing business, how can anger not be a legitimate result?  This woman is as psychically different from me as night and day and yet due to patriarchy we are subject to the same fate; a life concerned about the impacts of male violence and aggression.

Ads like this say that women's lives aren't worth anything.  Clearly she is need of aid and yet the men are so busy negotiating an opportunity to abuse her, this is over looked.  This is not some cheap fantasy, it happens everyday and to use the pain that this kind of abuse causes as a marketing tactic signals that Pepsi is a company without any compassion.

Clearly they never thought of the effect that this would have on innocent women who have been victims of sexual assault coming across this advertisement.  Obviously the execs believe that to women, rape and violence are part of our lives; and therefore we should embrace it.  We may all be under the threat of rape, but that does not mean that we support patriarchy in perpetuating what it believes is its right to women's bodies. This kind of campaigning needs to stop. 

I am sickened and heartbroken to see this today.  If anyone has any contact information for Pepsi please leave it in the comment section.  They need to be made aware that a woman's life is worth something.  Violence against us is not a laughing matter, it is painful and real.

H/T Feminist Law Professors


151 comments:

selkie said...

I've never seen this ad - it is OUTRAGEOUS - where is it being advertised? I know that when Dairy Queen came out with its disgusting sexualization of children tv ad - I wrote in and got a reply too; the add was pulled in short order (not due to me LOL but becuase I know a LOT of people who wrote in to complain). I would assume there is a complaint department in the Pepsi Head office.
http://cr.pepsi.com/usen/pepsiusen.cfm?or=

that's an email form you could fill out.

I would complain as well but would need more information; i.;e. where are these ads posted? When did they come out? Are thye current?

Renee said...

I came across this link at shakesville, it seems as though the ads are on display in France.

James said...

I was so surprised by this that I had to trace the ad all the way back to its source, just to make sure it wasn't originally a hoax.

Sure enough, as Renee found elsewhere, this is a French ad. It was created by a French advertising agency, so I suppose the issues here are French cultural attitudes towards women, and Pepsi's willingness to go along with local culture when it's as offensive as this.

Renee said...

@James I was desperately hoping when I saw this ad that this was a fake, like the fake Guinness ad of a few months ago.

Jewelry Rockstar said...

This is not good. Not at all.

Danyell said...

Like....what?

I can't even begin to say how offensive it is. Can someone please make sure they get this at Ms. for their "No Comment" section?

Hybrid Hopes said...

Yeah. Thanks. I needed another reason to be mad. :/

<3
Steph

cooper said...

Wow, I've seen this and wrote about it before, but it always been high fashion mags or fashion spreads which tend to use women in that way all the time. Pepsi?

I can't believe they actually are using this in an ad campaign.

Is this for sure a real ad campaign? I clicked to the ad blog it was from, but so far haven't seen any other references? I'm looking though.

What a campaign to start in Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Anonymous said...

http://www.pepsi.ca/en/contactus.asp

to contact pepsi from Canada

Dale said...

Cooper, yes, the ad campaign is apparently real. Here is a link which credits the particular ad campaign and shows a couple other (but non-offensive)ads in the series.
http://commercial-archive.com/node/145960

el squidge said...

I think the scenario the viewer's supposed to see is the kid trades for the lifeguard's shirt and then she wakes up and thinks the kid saved her and goes "My Hero!"

I mean, if the kid's trading the Pepsi for the lifeguard to look the other way while he assaults her, why would the kid need the shirt?

Ebony Intuition said...

This ad is not right at all.

Anonymous said...

um... i'm looking at this ad, and i don't see how the lifeguard is inviting the little boy to rape the woman. he's trading a t-shirt for a pepsi. traditional lifeguard gags will imply that the joke is that the little boy will kiss the woman while performing CPR. it's called "humor". the underage boy will get to kiss an attractive woman.

i am a feminist, but seeing this as encouraging a violent act towards women is a bit of a stretch.

Renee said...

To all of you who cannot see how this incites violence against women, I want you to think about why it is that women don't leave their drinks unattended when they are in a bar...they don't because they might get slipped a roofie which would make them susceptible to rape. When a woman is incapacitated the rapist then takes advantage with her. This ad is the same sort of analogy with the Pepsi can substituting for the roofie.
I cannot believe that I had to explain why this ad is harmful and promotes violence.

Anonymous said...

that sort of comparison is flawed. the pepsi is not a metaphorical roofie, the woman has obviously not had any. the deal is that the lifeguard is accepting the pepsi so that the boy can wear the t-shirt so that he can kiss the woman. kissing is not the same as raping. nor is it a violent act.

too much of a stretch.

SunlessNick said...

um... i'm looking at this ad, and i don't see how the lifeguard is inviting the little boy to rape the woman.

Really? Because you go on to say:

traditional lifeguard gags will imply that the joke is that the little boy will kiss the woman while performing CPR.

... in other words, mix sexual assault in with the first aid.

it's called "humor".

Well, if you find sexual assault funny, it might be.

[SunlessNick]

SunlessNick said...

kissing is not the same as raping. nor is it a violent act.

Kissing someone without their permission may not be the same as rape, but is sexual assault, and sexual assault is always violent.

Anonymous said...

i can't believe you're comparing a child kissing a sleeping adult with sexual assault

SunlessNick said...

With the leer plastered all over his face? You betcha I am.

SunlessNick said...

Your own words keep bringing up the attractiveness of the dying (not sleeping) woman, and that being the kid's motive. Attractiveness being a factor means the implied intent is sexualised.

brinstar said...

I don't understand how some of the commenters here think that non-consentual contact (kid attempting to kiss unconscious woman) is not deeply wrong and offensive in any way, shape, or form. The woman is in no position to give consent or permission to anyone to touch her. If you substitute the kid for a middle-adged adult male, maybe the rape apologists here would understand how deeply troubling this advertisement is. Just because it's a kid standing over the woman doesn't make it any less offensive or wrong.

ssb said...

The kid's eyes are not on her face, so I doubt that kissing her is on his mind.

Kirsten said...

el sqidge - Even if your (rather generous) interpretation was the intended message, the ad is still problematic. In that scenario the woman is still being presented as a sexual object, something to be traded.

This image is triggering for rape survivors, whatever the thoughts behind it. I suggest you read Portly Dyke's comment at Shakesville on the impact this ad had on her.

Angel H. said...

~~~i can't believe you're comparing a child kissing a sleeping adult with sexual assault~~~

head explodes...

thewhatifgirl said...

If you look at the other ads that Dale linked too, it is obvious that it's all about access to the woman.

Does it occur to those of you who say he just wants a kiss that maybe the woman wouldn't want to kiss him?

I will say, too, that when I was almost raped, he was kissing me. It was still sexual assault and still would have been rape if he had succeeded.

Sparky said...

So Sunless Nick,

If I kiss my wife(or girlfriend) while she is sleeping, is that sexual assualt? She never asked for it, but I just know that she wants it. How do I know? After I kiss her, she pulls closer to me and she feels loved.

Of course you have already defined it as sexual assault. I don't understand that one. Americans have went too far overboard on many things because they have lost their common sense.

I personally find the ad disgusting not because of what it is suggesting but because they are using a barely dressed woman to sell a product.

Renee said...

@sparky the snarling look on this kids face is hardly the same expression that one would have on their face when they were seeking to be affectionate with a loved one. Clearly this little ad is not promoting love, it is promoting sexual assault.

SunlessNick said...

What Renee said. I don't equate kissing a sleeping loved one with buying a shot at an unconscious and dying stranger.

Dale said...

Brinstar and Sparky, the boy has a leering expression on his face and his eyes are pointed at the unconscious woman's breasts.

As Thewhatifgirl mentioned, the ad campaign has the theme of Pepsi allowing you do things you only dreamed about. In this case, the boy is exchanging a can of Pepsi for the lifeguard's permission to do CPR on the woman. The boy's delight seems clearly to be related to his chance to squeeze her breast(s). In this ad, the the lifeguard controls the woman's body, he gives permission - she does not.

Shae said...

I sent a complaint. This is what I said:

"Your ad depicting a lifeguard trading a Pepsi to a kid for the opportunity to have his way with a sexy unconsious woman is beyond offensive. Sexual assault is not funny or cute. "

Shae said...

el squidge:

The kid gets to put his mouth on her. That's the obvious message. He's not trading a pepsi to save an old lady from a burning building.

Sarah St. Catherine said...

Those dark clouds in the background - do they provide support for the sinister elements of the scene in the foreground?

Shae said...

http://feministe.us/blog/archives/2008/10/20/a-response-from-pepsi/

SunlessNick said...

Shakesville has an update to this.

MaraJade62 said...

God, that is vile. I can't imagine how this is amusing--and reminds me of a horrible personal experience with someone I should have been able to trust.

This is disgusting. I hope that Pepsi is laced with cynide.

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