Delta withdraws Gender-Insensitive Advert

Last week the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) – Zimbabwe flighted a statement in the country’s media condemning the advertisement as
portraying women as physical objects that should simply be admired if not savoured.

In a letter to MISA-Zimbabwe dated 17 March 2011, Delta Corporation corporate affairs director, George Mutendadzamera, said they were immediately withdrawing the advertisement in view of the reservations raised by the media freedom and freedom of expression lobby and advocacy organisation.

 MISA-Zimbabwe cited the advertisement placed in The Standard weekly edition of 6-12 March 2011 as a classical example of the ‘objectification’ of women.

The advertisement showed the posteriors of four women clad in tight fitting jeans. They were each holding a bottle of the Redds drink smacked on their posteriors. The advert reads: Have great fun.

MISA-Zimbabwe asserted that such portrayal of women in the media reinforced medieval stereotypes that objectify women. It was the organisation’s strong view that the Redds advert was denigrating as it equated women’s posteriors to objects of ‘great fun’ to be enjoyed with a Redds drink.

Mutendadzamera said while they “may not” agree with some of the views raised by stakeholders, “we endorse the desirability of withdrawing the advert”.

“As explained to you, our communication is guided by a Code of Commercial Communication which dictates that our communication ‘will not impugn human dignity or integrity’.  We have a proud record of adherence to the Code hence our swift response to this isolated case.

“We take this opportunity to thank your organisation for bringing your concern to our attention. We assure you that all our future communication will maintain and respect human dignity whilst at the same time enhancing the value of our brands,” reads the letter.