Cross’em off your list

Don’t pay for Sexploitation this holiday season

It’s that time of year again. The time of year when companies ramp up their advertising in order to compete for your Christmas dollar. There is nowhere you can go without companies placing their product and logo in your face.

Now is the time to recall which companies used sexploitation to sell and promote their products over this past year. You can make a difference by voting with your dollar against sexploitation this holiday season.

Following the positive response to our inaugural ‘Crossed off’ list of 2010, we have compiled an updated list of corporate offenders, who we have selected for specialising in sexism, objectification and sex industry themes in 2011. These companies do not respect women and they have not responded to complaints nor changed their ways, so they do not deserve your custom.

Beside each logo you’ll find a link to more information about why we encourage you to boycott this company. And don’t forget to let them know why you won’t be buying from them – we’ve included their contact details as well.

Diva

For pimping Playboy porno chic to girls and women. Our Change.org petition – currently over 7000 signatures – was recently hand delivered to Diva stores. Some staff refused to accept it, saying they had been instructed not to. Diva is owned by BB Retail Capital, which also owns Adairs and Bras N Things, where the signature brand of the porn industry gets centre spread in linen and underwear, and where women are told to ‘Be a Bunny.’

Contact Diva: contact@diva.net.au. Sign the petition here.

Bras n Things

Bras n Things sells and proudly advertises the major brand of the porn industry, Playboy.  We’ve written about this here and here. Bras n Things also sexualises girls. For example, the Teacher’s Pet ’dress up’ outfit is advertised with the words ‘This school girl needs to be taught a lesson!’

Contact Bras n Things: here.

Adairs

Like Diva and Bras n Things, Adairs proudly sells and advertises the major brand of the Porn industry, Playboy. Along with Bras N Things, Adairs hosted a ‘Playboy Club 50th Anniversary party’. 50 years of objectification, sexism and degradation is nothing to celebrate.

Contact Adairs here.

Supre

For sexualised ad campaigns aimed at young girls. Supre advertised using an image of a topless young woman on the back of buses and trams and on their website. A television ad featured a young woman gyrating around her bedroom before falling onto a bed. Supre has a long history of sexploitation with their slogan t-shirts including ‘Santa’s Bitch’, ‘Pussy Power’ and ‘High Beams’ to name a few.

Contact Supre here.

America Apparel

For importing its porn inspired representations of women to Australia. Check the label of t-shirts, tights and underwear. If you see this logo, put it back.

Contact American Apparel here.

Unilever

Unilever claimed to care about ‘real’ beauty and the worth of women through its Dove label while using demeaning advertising promoting women as sexual recreation through ‘Lynx.’ Lynx’s most recent offering was banned by the ASB. Unilever once again defended its sexist ads. Unilever owns a variety of different brands, but there is no need to try and remember them all. Just look on the back label of personal care, food and cleaning products for this blue ‘U’ logo. If you see the ‘U’ put the item back and choose another one.

Contact Unilever here.

General Pants

General Pants uses objectification and sex industry themes to sell and promote their products. Large posters of topless women – with only tape covering their breasts – were used to advertise a new fashion line called ‘Sex‘ in shop front windows.  Young staff at General Pants were required to wear badges that said ‘I love sex.’ Other promotions have featured topless models and live pole dance shows in their shop front windows. Change rooms at General Pants have featured floor to ceiling ads for prostitution and strip club venues.

Contact General Pants here.

City Beach

City Beach continues to sell pornographic themed t-shirts to a young market. Collective Shout supporter Caitlin Roper challenged City Beach directly through the Equal Opportunities Commission. City Beach were uncooperative and continue to sell items like this.

Contact City Beach here.

Other logos for stores, which stock ranges of t-shirts depicting women in porn-themed poses and subjected to eroticised violence are shown below.  Sixty high-profile people put their names to an open letter calling for removal of these t-shirts for normalising violence against women and exposing children to sexualised images. Click on each logo for contact details of each  store.

Rivers

Rivers began objectifying women on the front cover of their catalogues. They then used an image of a dead woman on the front cover of their catalogue ’10 Deadly deals’, which attracted complaints and significant media attention. Rivers remains unrepentant.

Contact Rivers by emailing them at q@rivaus.com.au

Nando’s

In a clear reference to the sex industry Nando’s used a burlesque/stripper model in the ‘Little Hotties’ campaign. Nando’s marketing director Kim Russell described the ad as “sassy not sleazy”. We disagreed. Stop off somewhere else for take away these holidays.

Contact Nandos here.

McDonalds/Fuelzone, Caltex

Not the place for your holiday fuel stop, selling extreme porn titles promoting rape, incest and sex with young girls. While BP, Shell/Coles Express and Mobil withdrew these titles after a campaign led by Julie Gale of Kids Free 2B Kids, McDonalds/Fuelzone and Caltex have remained intransigent.

Contact Mcdonalds here (regarding Mcdonalds co-brand with Fuelzone).
Contact Caltex here.

Your turn

Now it’s over to you. Are there any other brands that should be included on this list? Are there alternatives to these brands that others might like to know about? Please share your suggestions below.

Media:

Collective Shout reveals list of ‘sexploitative’ brands to boycott this Christmas

Porn identity puts Diva on top of list of shops to drop

MX newspapers

Sex sells and ASB can’t stop it campaigners warn and ASB bites back at slow response charges

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49 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    Posted 14 Nov ’11 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Hey guys can you start a tick of approval guide? Perhaps companies who have changed their way – you know positive. Also alternatives please. I want to do the right thing but so many of these stores it is hard to find alternatives.

    • Liz
      Posted 15 Nov ’11 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      Great idea, I would like an alternative list. I will start with Madura tea, Australia company with a great product as a great alternative to Lipton tea owned by Unilever.

  2. Vikki
    Posted 14 Nov ’11 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    I don’t have a photo, but when we drove past JB HiFi the other day I saw some horrific (and huge) promotional posters outside (at Indooroopilly). Maybe someone else can confirm if it’s just at that store or all of them?

  3. catriona daly
    Posted 14 Nov ’11 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Detour for its current campaign on full length posters and t shirts that “cool girls don’t wear undies”.

    • Gail
      Posted 17 Nov ’11 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Any idea where Detour is so I can let them know my 12 yr old and I am sick of seeing a car sticker in our area that reads
      “Cool chicks don’t wear undies.
      We want YOU inside us
      Hi Catriona,any idea where Detour is? I’d like to check and see if they are responsible for a car sticker in our area which reads
      “Cool chicks don’t wear undies.
      We want YOU inside us”
      Ayone know if there are laws relating to offensive car stickers?
      How would I find out? If there are no laws is that an issue I could ttalk to my local or federal leader about? Any ideas would be welcome as I am new at this.Thanks

  4. Mon
    Posted 14 Nov ’11 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Hi Collective shout – any chance your activities could extend to NZ in the foreseeable future? Your kind of work is badly needed over there! At very least I am adding Tui beer to your list, their campaigns are worse than Lynx even – you can buy it Oz – DON’T!
    I also agree about the tick of approval guide idea.

    • Mel
      Posted 7 Dec ’11 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      I sent an email to Briscoes about their stocking and advertising of Playboy products. The reply I got was that they aren’t going to do anything about it because only a handful of people have made complaints in the 6 years they have been stocking the products. Basically they will only change their mind if there is a larger number of complaints received.
      (the ironic thing was that the first time I tried to send the email, it got rejected by their email filter because it contained the word ‘pornography’ in it and it was considered inappropriate language!)

  5. Miranda Aitken
    Posted 14 Nov ’11 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Unit Brand are probably one of the worst offenders when it comes to sexualized images of women on their clothing products. I recently went shopping for clothes with my 12yr old son and was shocked by the extent of it. The brand is stocked in many surf & skate orientated stores. Stock is usually accompanied by soft porn images on posters within the store. I believe the Unit brand really needs a big campaign directed towards it like the Diva one. Boys need protection from over sexualised images too.

  6. Jen
    Posted 14 Nov ’11 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Priceline also stock playboy perfumes…two large displays with the brand name displayed prominantly in the blue mountains store (Springwood).

  7. abigail swanson
    Posted 14 Nov ’11 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Priceline- yes agreed. Great idea to have positive alternatives. Great article Collective Shout- very informative. I know where I wont be shopping this christmas.

  8. Kim Tuck-Lee
    Posted 14 Nov ’11 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Definitely Priceline – Woden store had a prominent promotion advertising the arrival of their Playboy perfume line, on TV and in store…

  9. Debbie Garratt
    Posted 14 Nov ’11 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    http://www.ezibuy.com.au sell clothing, gifts and some homewares. They responded very positively and apologetically within 24 hours of my complaint about them including playboy bedding in a catalogue. The items were removed from their website that day. One to add to the ‘Shop Here’ list.

  10. Natalia
    Posted 14 Nov ’11 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Another good reason to not ever buy goods from these organisations is that they are all slave labour, hence exploiting women and girls long before the product is avalaible in the shops.

    • Kathryn
      Posted 8 Dec ’11 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      In regards to ‘FairTrade’ etc, keep in touch with them. I asked re plus sized clothing. They weren’t able to ‘help’ but they were helpful.

  11. Posted 14 Nov ’11 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the list CS.
    I can recommend New Moon Girls magazine and website. I bought my daughter a subscription and we really like it. It is a feminist, ad free space for girls, where girls can contribute their creative work, chat online, and think critically about our culture (including their own Girl Caught Campaign). A big tick to New Moon Girls. http://www.newmoon.com/

  12. Murray
    Posted 14 Nov ’11 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear. I just bought a pair of jeans from General Pants. Should have looked at this earlier.

  13. Team CS
    Posted 14 Nov ’11 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Catherine

  14. Anna
    Posted 14 Nov ’11 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    I can’t wait to receive responses from these stores after I tell them where I am NOT spending my money this Christmas :)

  15. Jill
    Posted 14 Nov ’11 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    The Playboy brand is really making a splash. Last Saturday I spotted Playboy perfumes alongside the teenage girls’ wear in Target.

  16. Mel
    Posted 14 Nov ’11 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    The tick of approval is a great idea. If companies start getting praise, publicity etc. for doing the right thing then they may be more inclined to change their ways.

  17. Leean Lafferty
    Posted 15 Nov ’11 at 1:29 am | Permalink

    mysogyny so pervasive and rampant, pretty soon there will be nowhere to shop, its a pity since women hating is so normalised that boycotting these businesses wont even leave a small dint in thier revenue, they dont care, they have the consumer where they want them; particpating in thier own oppression. How funny whore-chick fashionistas going backwards financially,spending a fortune (and mixed messages) while legit sex workers are the ones (and these retailers) who are going upwards financially. Its trailer trash at its worst, i look at these girls and think,..’and youre point is..’?

  18. kate
    Posted 15 Nov ’11 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    thanks for this Collective Shout!

    Unilever are hard to avoid especially in the hygiene/beauty area. This isn’t really a Xmas shopping thing but my tip for alternative is Johnson & Johnson. I switched to J&J when I stopped buying Unilever and I love their stuff now. Also for deodorant I buy Garnier now.

  19. Posted 15 Nov ’11 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    I have received an email from the Caltex Sydney office asking me to identify the store that is selling the magazines. Can you please provide details so that I can pass it back to Caltex? Thanks

    • Team CS
      Posted 15 Nov ’11 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      Hi Vicki, I’ll find out details and let you know asap. Thanks so much for taking action on this.

  20. Bern
    Posted 15 Nov ’11 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    http://www.maduratea.com.au/shopping.html
    Australian tea company with free shipping is a great alternative to Lipton tea owned by Unilever. They have a plantation up on the North Coast of NSW

  21. Mary
    Posted 16 Nov ’11 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    I normally spend a lot of money at Diva every Christmas as I can buy gifts for my sisters, cousins and female friends in one hit. But not this year!

    Can anyone suggest a good alternative to Diva?

    • Team CS
      Posted 23 Nov ’11 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      Hi Mary, A few of our supporters had suggested that ‘Equip’ might be a good alternative to Diva. Same type of products, but no Playboy range. Hope that helps!

  22. Posted 17 Nov ’11 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Hello all!
    Over at Spinifex Press blog, we have come up with a list of sexploitation-free gifting options.

    We specifically looked at whether or not the company had used any sexist or sexually exploitative advertising, and gave our tick of approval to those who steered clear of using inappropriate images of women and children to push their message. Wherever possible, we also opted for Australian-made and owned, as well as eco and ethically friendly.

    Check it out and feel free to comment with your own suggestions: http://www.spinifexpress.com.au/Blog/display/id=57/comments=show/

  23. Susan
    Posted 22 Nov ’11 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Running Bare bus backs. Can’t count the number of times I’ve driven my 13-year-old daughter to school while staring down a pair of lusty boobs squished into an athletic crop top. The model’s face is cropped. It’s just breasts – smack bang, in your face, on the drive to school or work. I love sports wear and I think women can look really attractive in nice-fitting sports wear but this seems to have little to do with sport or fitness.

  24. Big Jim
    Posted 23 Nov ’11 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    I noticed the boycott of Nandos, a great substitute would be Grill’d. They make Healthy burgers cooked in front of you for a great price and doing a lot for mens health (Movember, beyond blue ect). Some other clothing options would be “scotch and soda” a little exxy but great quality kit and no inappropriate motifs on the fabric.

  25. Posted 23 Nov ’11 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    Well done, well posted and I’m well and truly not going to give these people a dollar this Xmas.

  26. Stewart
    Posted 29 Nov ’11 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Greetings. I found a local store called ‘Street & Surf’ (Is it national?) which sells T-shirts that are the type we can do without. The brand is ‘UNIT’. Why do these street-cred shops sell such degrading & overt rubbish?! Keep up the GREAT work. Cheers.

  27. Katie
    Posted 30 Nov ’11 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Here are some horrible t shirts from the streetwear brand “Dissizit”.
    (Very similar to the UNIT brand) A friend and I were disgusted to see Dissizit shirts being sold at a small women’s clothing boutique yesterday.

    http://27.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_li5j0nmfuM1qi5vygo1_500.jpg

    http://www.individualsole.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/dissizit-2.JPG

    http://www.kickz.com/en/media/images/p/288/dissizit-hal_pacino_t_shirt-black-1.jpg

    http://s6.thisnext.com/media/largest_dimension/9332A8DF.jpg

  28. Lidiya
    Posted 30 Nov ’11 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    What can we do about the “Sexpo” advertisements on billboards and trams. What are these suggesting to chidlren and how can we make a stand against the use of non G-rated advertising.

  29. Dan
    Posted 30 Nov ’11 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Can you people please go back to 1860 puritanical America? You disgust me. Your represive attitudes towards sex is what is causing harmful fetishes and self loathing to occur in young people. You and your repressive attitudes are the problem.

    • Leona
      Posted 1 Dec ’11 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      Can anyone even be bothered to reply to Dan’s facile comment?
      Perhaps when it is his 12 year old wanting to wear a “Pussy Power” t-shirt to Nana’s he might start to understand that is a much more complex issue than taking the moral high ground.

    • Caylee
      Posted 29 Feb ’12 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      I’m not sure how you think that t-shirts displaying inappropriate and unnecessary images of women’s body parts is an OKAY thing? If you had to go around seeing other men’s body parts posted everywhere, I’m pretty sure you’d have a problem too. It’s degrading. We’re not trying to say that sex is a bad thing. We just don’t want to see it commercialized and publicized everywhere, and we certainly do not want children having to shield their eyes at every street corner because of a nasty billboard.

  30. Leona
    Posted 1 Dec ’11 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Can anyone even be bothered to reply to Dan’s facile comment?
    Perhaps when it is his pre-teen daughter who thinks its okay to wear a TITS brand t-shirt to grandma’s, he might consider this a more complex issue than ‘moral high-ground’.

  31. Anonymous
    Posted 2 Dec ’11 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Bras N Things is aimed at women – the ADULT female. They use images of WOMEN. Not CHILDREN. You absolute SNIP FOR ABUSE

    • Team CS
      Posted 2 Dec ’11 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for your anonymous abusive comment. Try reading the blog again.

    • Caylee
      Posted 29 Feb ’12 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

      This is about images being degrading to all females regardless of age.

  32. Kate
    Posted 6 Dec ’11 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    The major ones that bother me are Abercrombie & Fitch store posters & catalogs and the Carl’s Jr commercials. This year’s American Eagle’s kids line (77Kids) of bathing suits were HIGHLY inappropriate for toddlers even teenagers. I had just started shopping there for my 2 year old and quickly stopped after their swimsuits were revealed.

  33. Rhe
    Posted 19 Dec ’11 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    I’ve found that in the past year 7 Eleven stores have popped up all over the place, buying out smaller petrol stations. They stock the usual porn mags, such as Zoo. I then noticed that not only did they stock them in the magazine area but moved them onto the counter at the register. I asked the managers of 2 stores why they had to dispaly porn mags in 2 areas of their store and I was either laughed off or referred to company policy. Anyone else notice this?

  34. Dave
    Posted 11 Jan ’12 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    Both coles and woolworths are now stocking PlayBoy branded fragrance. The website says it all: http://www.playboyfragrances.com/

    Time to add them to the boycott list.

  35. Mary
    Posted 11 Mar ’12 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    These companies should get a message from us saying we are not shopping at your store, because of your sexploitation ads targeting kids. So they will sit up and take notice.

  36. snowwwizard
    Posted 5 May ’12 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    What about HBO/Bill Maher – if ever there was a misogynistic on air personality he’s it ?

2 Trackbacks

  1. [...] And view the list here ‘Cross ‘Em off your Xmas list’ [...]

  2. By Collective Shout: crossed off list « kt-rae on 11 Nov ’12 at 8:33 pm

    [...] money. Cross ’em off your Xmas list! For our third year running (see lists from 2010 and 2011) we are making it easier for you to make ethical decisions rejecting of companies which have not [...]

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For a world free from sexploitation