Sexist footwear ad banned in UK

Footwear brand Goodwin Smith has come under fire for releasing a campaign featuring barely dressed women in ‘sexually suggestive’ poses.

The campaign has been criticised by the public for being ‘sexist, objectifying women, and degrading to women’, prompting the Advertising Standards Authority to ban the promotion.

The campaign, titled “Fancy a pair?” featured an image of three women wearing just knickers, with one woman’s breasts completely exposed, while a video shared on Youtube, which featured the ‘not suitable for under 18s’ emoji, showed a model wearing black underwear on her knees as she was showered with fake banknotes by a fully clothed man.

The campaign also included a video where three models, wearing nude thongs and high heels, flirted with and danced around three fully-clothed men. Other scenes included: a woman on her knees facing a man who was using a machine to shoot banknotes into the woman’s face; a topless woman serving a man a drink; and men shaking up a bottle of liquid, then spraying it across the room.

Redfoot Shoes, which trades as Goodwin Smith, said the campaign had attempted to portray a fantasy concept and was not meant to degrade women. It said the ads had been formulated for men aged between 22 and 45 years, and that the platforms used to share the promotion were specifically for this target group.

They also informed that there were two versions of the video and the version featuring the women topless came with a warning of the explicit content.

However, the ASA ruled that the ads were ‘sexist’ and that they were likely to cause serious and widespread offence, including to Goodwin Smith’s potential customer base. "The ad must not appear again in its current form," said the ASA.

Lancashire-based Goodwin Smith was established in 1928, and sells its products online as well as in several stockists across the UK.

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