Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sell sex, not safety

“We always find it funny that you can use sex to sell jewelry and cars, but you can’t use sex to sell condoms,” said Carol Carrozza, vice president of marketing for Ansell Healthcare, which makes LifeStyles condoms.

The use of sex in advertising (especially sex equated with submissive, objectified women) absolutely encourages the Rape culture. Commodified sex is used ubiquitously through out western culture and often for things that have nothing to do with actual sex. Suddenly when safe, responsible sex is the selling point, the ads are bared from networks. We are essentially cementing the dis juncture between egalitarian, respectful, safer sex, and the representations that look more like Rape. Also not a coincidence that ads for erectile dysfunction (drugs exclusively for male sexual pleasure) are aired during the Superbowl. Condom ads are fine as long as they focus on HIV and STIs (which infect both men and women). But when the issue is pregnancy - a condition only physically affecting women, it's too racy for TV.