What is the real issue here?
Warning; while every precaution by the writer has been made to ensure that gratuitous sex is shown at every possible moment, unfortunately references to unsexy people has had to be included to ensure a stable and level report.
I like to think of myself as a pretty laid back individual, however I will also be the first to admit I get pretty wound up, sometimes over the little, trivial things in life while bigger problems such as famine, poverty, crime and politics pass me by.
Where ethics, morals, and standards (especially double-standards) fit into the grand scheme of things I have no idea, but a mate, one who obviously gets some sick pleasure from my rants flicked me an article to read, a supporting video to view, and then asked what I thought…well, like a red rag to a bull this was always going to warrant a response, and while at the time I consumed a skinful of beers coursing through my veins a day later and sober I have had no less change of heart to this matter…so here we go!
Advertising 101 dictates that ‘sex sells’, and yes I agree; if you happen to have a great set of tits, or a pencil thin figure, or (in the case of men) steroid-enhanced biceps, triceps and abs why not flaunt them where possible. As a slightly overweight, tone-deficient, and pasty white skinned bloke it does not bother me one iota that the man selling me a pair of undies insinuates that he packs the kind of tackle only found between the hind legs of a Grand National winner…fine by me, if they are comfy, and don’t cause my various itches, rashes and pimples on my nether regions to flare up. And some busty, lithe bird wants to use her engorged nipples to sell me frozen peas or car tyres, again, that suits me fine. I am intelligent enough to know that buying these brands does not preclude to scoring Playboy Bunnies, Megan Fox, or the MILF I see at my three year-old’s preschool. But if I need something, or as important, want something, the advertising has little to do with it.
So how is it that the ad (shown below) has been banned on the grounds of being ‘too risqué’? I watched it, and watched it again, and in the interests of making a well-informed and unbiased judgement, watched it a further 32 times, and yet cannot find anything wrong with the ad…well, not in the same sense as the Commercial Approvals Bureau (CAB) do, heck, I barely cracked a chubby and to me that signifies the content as being mild as I can ‘crack a fat’ over EziBuy circulars. And really, is there anything actually sexy about hamburgers? I don’t recall Mickey Rourke eating one-off of Kim Basinger’s belly in 9 1/2 Weeks (although I am sure he wanted to, who wouldn’t?), I don’t even remember Charlie Sheen doing the same in the parody ‘Hot Shots’ either and that alone places the hamburger very low on the list of pornographic food-stuffs…shit, watch any of Tui’s ads, where is the defined line between what is OK and what isn’t?
But I do have an issue with the ad. in fact not with the ad itself, but the morals the ads poses. We live in a society which will not allow us to view an ad with scantily clad women cooking meat patties, but we allow such food to be marketed to a society of morbidly obese people. And what’s more, it is Michael Jones, a Pacific Island (if not NZ) icon using that fame to market a food to a demographic with a real health issue. Liken this to Stacey Jones’ ads for Instant Finance and it becomes a moral debate – selling money to those who can’t afford it, as the target market are those who instantly recognise, trust, and act on their word. It seems the real issues are being missed by a narrow-minded and blinkered authority who unwittingly create a double standard in a world where tobacco companies are denied their rights to advertise yet fast food, gambling and alcohol companies freely suck in addictive personalities…provided they aren’t too sexy of course.
Then there is this Rae Duff woman who has managed to put her five cents in; “The overt sexual innuendo and stereotyping in this advertisement leads to an unhealthy focus on body image which encourages women and girls to regard their sexuality and size as key defining elements of their identity,” she said. Basically translated; “Yes, feed your fat face with shitty food, you should not have to be concerned with the risks of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. As long as you don’t feel intimidated by those who had a presence of mind, and pride in themselves, to look after their bodies. Right…having been a person who has seen the inside plenty of fast food restaurants in my time, I can tell you, Rae, that the majority of the girls and women in these places are showing little regard to their sexuality and size as they chaff down their multi-stacked burgers and fries with a side order of 1.5 litres of Coke.
Isn’t it bad enough that New Zealand exists as a nation of contradictions: a greater democracy which is at the mercy of minorities so the voice of the majority is ignored by the decisions of the few; a country becoming a nanny-state that allows benefits to be paid to hardened criminals while the average ‘working’ salary is a pittance; and where we demand that cops cannot carry guns yet we all shout our disgust when an officer is shot in the line of duty.
I would just like to point out that at least we don’t live in a country where one doesn’t have the right to vote, a country where murder and rape is a way of life, a country where you can be shot just for being a girl who wants to go to school, or a country where women are forced into marriage and are required to wear face cloths…actually that last one isn’t too bad, I have woken up to women who’s looks could benefit from this accessory.