15 Recent Ads That Glorify Sexual Violence Against Women

dolce gabbana gang rape ad

One out of every six women in the US has been the victim of a sexual assault. Elsewhere in the world, the statistics are even more appalling.

Yet advertisers often make light of sexual violence towards women. They disguise it as innuendo, humour, or artistic expression, and hope the shock factor will work promotional magic for their product.

Back in the Mad Men era it was unsurprising to see women treated poorly in ads.

But we’ve found some modern day promotions that glorify sexual violence. Some of the brands are repeat offenders; some are merely one-time gaffes.

Often, clients and agencies defend them as “edgy” fantasy scenarios.

Fair enough. But there sure are a lot of them. And so few involving violence against men …

The context: This is a famously bad old ad from the 1960s. Surely, nothing like this would be approved for paid media today?

This one is a bit more subtle. It's not clear whether this couple knows each other, or whether the woman is in for an unpleasant surprise.

This ad from suit maker Duncan Quinn leaves us scratching our heads, but its sexual and violent tones are less than subtle.

Belvedere double-failed when it stole this still from a comedy video on YouTube and added some offensive text. The company apologized and made a donation to a women's charity.

Italian fashion company Relish was slammed for this ad, which pictures Rio de Janeiro police officers groping two models. The ads were run on billboards in Italy.

The joke in this ad from Peta is that male vegans are so good at sex, their partners will be seriously injured.

This Peta ad suggested women were akin to slabs of meat hanging of hooks.

This ludicrous ad by JWT India was never officially Ford-approved, but it made enough headlines to ensure its infamy.

We're not sure what McDonald's higher-ups were thinking when they approved this ad, which imitates rape hotline advertisements to promote the Big Mac.

A seductive gaze, impossibly high heels, and a naked female body hanging from the ceiling in pieces make this the most disturbing image of them all.

This American Apparel ad — which shows a faceless woman on her knees — is somewhat ambiguous.

That's not as low as it gets, unfortunately ...

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