Monthly Archives: October 2009

Little girls define themselves as sex objects – thanks sexual ads?

Yesterday a Daily Telegraph article headlined “Little girls new sex objects” and “Toodlers want bras, pre-teens want wax”. (Jones & Cuneo, Daily Telegraph, 2009, p.2/3) Two special investigation pages illustrated quite clearly how pre-schoolers are turning themselves into sexualised “mini adults” by wearing bras, nail polish and lipstick. According to Louise Newman Professor of Developmental Psychatry at Monash University, numerous children are suffering “from clinical depression in primary school because they don´t feel they are pretty enough … the girls are worried they won´t get boyfriends [and] have started to defining their self worth in terms of themselves as a sex object ”. (Jones & Cuneo, Daily Telegraph, 2009, p.2, para 4/5).

Dr. Tucci, CEO of the Australian Childhood Foundation, blamed the sexual images children are now bombarded with for the staggering rise in kids particularly those who have never been sexually abused themselves, assaulting their classmates.

Girls read magazines which portray them as sex objects

Girls read magazines and watch ads portraying them as sex objects

Another former article mentiones, that “a daily diet of celebrities in sexualised poses, taking drugs and getting drunk has led to increasing numbers of children ‘defining their lifestyle’ around drugs, alcohol and sex in their early teens.” Distorted messages mean young boys wear football shirts emblazoned with alcohol brands while girls read magazines portraying them as sex objects, or purchase “sexualised” dolls.

As the alarming behaviours mentioned above do definitly link to uncensored media shows and obvious sexual ads it´s our task  as PR experts to use sex in ads and PR carefully. We should always bear in mind that not only our target groups but children and teens will see them.

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Men vs. Women: BILD BOY vs. BILD GIRL (Round 2)

Germany´s biggest tabloid paper “Bild” came up with a significant change of its cover page in June 2009. People called it a “naked revolution” or even a “cultural shock”. What it was?

Instead of naked females in form of “Bild Girls” an attractive man was presented to the readers on the title page: Alexander, the first “Bild Boy” in the history of the paper.

Bild Boy

Bild Boy Alexander

versus various Bild Girls

versus various Bild Girls

After huge turmoils and discussions of ambitious Bild readers, the newspaper started a survey amongst their audiences whether the Bild Boy should remain on the title or not. According to BILD.de almost 50,000 readers participated in the poll. The result: 54 per cent voted for him. With only a very small majority the readers decided, that once a week Boys instead of Girls are shown on the title page.

Regarding Coca Cola´s gender specific communication strategy (‘Coca-Cola Zero’ for the boys and ‘diet Coke’ for females) do you think the Bild Zeitung´s new “equality” plan was  desired/overdue or completely redundant?

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