Call For Sexualised Bus Ad to Be Removed

Media Release 11 Nov 2013
Family First NZ has written to the Howick and Eastern Bus Company asking them to remove an objectionable billboard on the back of their buses. The image advertising Lady Gaga’s latest album features the partly-covered naked singer in a provocative pose.

“We expect this raunch culture from shock artists like Lady Gaga, but to display it on a public bus often used as a school bus is unacceptable. The image simply objectifies women as sex objects and is part of the agenda of a pornified music world,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“These images should not be ‘broadcast’ on street billboards and school buses. It is offensive and inappropriate and many parents will not want their children being exposed to larger-than-life porn images. It’s difficult to have ‘parental controls’ over the images on a bus driving in front of you.”

“The music industry wants to sexualise and objectify women. But advertisers, and the Advertising Standards Authority, should be doing everything it can to reject this,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“We are asking the Howick and Eastern Bus Company to show social responsibility.” 

The American Psychological Association’s (APA) 2007 report examined and summarised the best psychological theory, research, and clinical experience on the topic. The APA’s study suggests that the sexualisation of girls and women in the media may not only reflect sexist attitudes, a societal tolerance of sexual violence, and the exploitation of girls and women, but may also contribute to these phenomena. It found that girls’ exposure to hyper-sexualized media content negatively impacts their cognitive and emotional development; was strongly associated with eating disorders, low self-esteem and depression; and diminished sexual health. The report says that the message for boys is to be sexually dominant, aggressive, and to objectify the female body.

“This is significant as the country agonises over the actions of the Roastbusters.”

“As the ex-lads’ mag (Loaded) editor Martin Daubney said in a recent article in the UK, we need to take the responsibility for protecting our children until they are old enough to do it for themselves.” 

Family First NZ is calling for the government to review and tighten codes around television advertising, billboards and outdoor advertising, including pre-vetting and to review the classification of music videos and video games specifically with regard to sexualised imagery.

ENDS