A borderline-pornographic ad for the U.K. web hosting service CrazyDomains.co.uk featuring Pamela Anderson has been banned from the airwaves. Thank God.
In the TV spot, Anderson plays a sexy (of course) business executive who, along with her buxom assistant "Vanessa," becomes the object of a a male coworker's fantasy. While Anderson attempts to lead a meeting, the lusty male board member imagines the two women gyrating in a shower of cream.
After receiving four complaints, the Advertising Standards Authority decided to pull the ad, the Guardian reports. Crazy Domains, however, maintains that the dream sequence is not "gratuitous or pornographic." Either they're not watching the same ad I saw, or they don't know what those words mean.
Clearcast, the organization that gave the commercial the initial nod to run after 9 PM, also sees no issue with the spot. The sexual content is hunky-dory, they say, because Anderson is a "celebrity who was known for flaunting her body." This sounds dangerously close to the "she was asking for it" rape defense.
And, somehow, it gets worse.
Clearcast goes on to say that since Anderson was deliberately dressed as "the head of business," the women were "attractive, dynamic and confident business people," and the man was "nerdy and lacking in confidence" then the campaign was "anything but degrading to women." The company's defense is a regular case of 1+1+1 = 789.
Let's pick this apart a bit, shall we? Putting aside for a second the gross over-sexualization of the women and the demoralizing image of the cream hose (I mean, come on), there's the fact that the "head of business" is represented as a pure sex object. Clearly that man is fantasizing about Anderson and her assistant because he respects them. Considering how difficult it is for women to achieve positions of power in business, it is incredibly damaging to override this image with one of sexual perversion.
As the ASA succinctly said, the man "viewed his female colleagues as sexual objects to be lusted after" and therefore "the ad was likely to cause serious offence to some viewers on the basis that it was sexist and degrading to women."
Now, don't get me started on why Anderson agreed to such a commercial in the first place.