Kazam mobile phone ad is banned for sexism

A young woman wanders around in her underwear, fondling her cleavage and thigh, biting her lip. What is this, some sub-‘50 Shades’ soft p0rn? Oh no, look, she’s doing her ironing, must be a gender-normative ad for some boring household product. Ahhh, no, I see what it is now: an ad for Kazam’s Tornado 348 mobile phone which she’s accidentally ironed because it’s so thin and unobtrusive.(Women, those dopes.)

Yes, that explains why we needed all those lingering shots of her with no clothes on. Or no, wait. Actually, it doesn’t. In a victory against the idea that the male gaze is the best way to sell absolutely anything, The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled that the ad breached their guidelines.

As The Huffington Post reports, Kazam claimed that it’s tongue in cheek and that ironing a shirt before going out is a common event. (Not in this house, it isn’t.) But the authority held up complaints that it was unnecessarily sexual and objectified women, especially considering the semi-nakedness was in no way relevant to the product. Kazam now has the choice of toning it down considerably, or rethinking their ad strategy entirely.

A little tip from me to them on that front: if you want to interest women in your products (and you should), the same old one-dimensional images of us that we’re used to from the tech industry plus some bonus domestic drudgery? Probably not the way to go.

Diane Shipley