An ad entirely consisting of a woman walking around her apartment in her underwear doesn't really seem like the logical or relevant way to sell a phone. Newsflash: That's because it's not. A TV ad for the Kazam Tornado 348 smartphone has been banned by Britain's Advertising Standards Agency for being sexually suggestive. The commercial was brought to the ASA's attention after the ad regulator received eight complaints that the "the content bore no relationship to the advertised product."
"The ASA noted that much of the ad focused entirely on the actor in her underwear, including scenes that featured several close-up shots that lingered over her breasts, buttocks and lips, which we considered were sexually suggestive," the ASA said in its ruling. "Additionally, this was heightened by the suggestive nature of the music and voice-over and further reinforced because the focus on the woman bore no relevance to the advertised product."
In the ad, a woman is in the process of getting dressed and is ironing her shirt. The company defends this by saying that the commercial simply represents the everyday ritual of people ironing their clothes before going out. The commercial's intention, the company adds, was to highlight that the phone was so thin that the woman didn't realize it was in the pocket of the shirt she was ironing. This explanation makes sense. Though the fact that the ad features the woman caressing herself and biting her lip to a weirdly suggestive song kind of delegitimizes that argument.
Overall, the ad is pretty ridiculous when you take into account that the phone is not the world's thinnest smartphone and the fact that the phone only appears in the last 10 seconds of the one minute commercial. But the commercial also underscores the larger history of women not being taken into account in the production and advertisement of tech products. Apple came under fire when the company's highly-anticipated HealthKit neglected to track periods. Additionally, many people have pointed out that wearables for women aren't really tailored to women at all and simply look like a sequin explosion. Highly-visible ads and commercials that objectify women contribute to this larger issue of women in STEM. Check out the commercial below.