The Advertising Standards Board has found an advertisement on Shear Ewe Livestock Services’ Facebook page which depicts a man shearing a woman is exploitative and degrading to women.
The decision reinforces the ASB’s finding last month that a Facebook page also serves as an advertisement for a business.
The ASB found Diageo’s Facebook page for Smirnoff vodka was an advertisement and the alcohol giant was responsible for the comments on the page.
Shear Ewe’s advertisement depicts a woman wearing a pink jumpsuit reclining on a chair while a man prepares to shear her as if she were a sheep.
The text reads, “Shear Ewe Livestock Services. Taking the hard work out of hobby farming”.
Shear Ewe has already been hauled before the ASB earlier this year for using the advertisement on mail brochures but then continued to use it on its Facebook page.
A complainant to the ASB said the continued use of the ad on Shear Ewe’s profile page on Facebook was “insulting and an example of self-regulation not working”.
“The ad is sexist, commodifies the woman and demeans her by presenting her as an animal,” the complainant said.
“She is also being held down by the male who is in a position of dominance.”
Shear Ewe argued that it had complied with the ASB’s initial decision to remove the ad from its business flyer and noted that it was not instructed to remove any other advertisement.
Shear Ewe reduced the size of the picture on the Facebook page from the main banner to a small profile picture.
“A very good reason for keeping this picture was to allow the average person to take a look at it and have their own opinion, which did attract a lot of attention,” Shear Ewe argued in its submission to the ASB.
Shear Ewe said the objective of using a woman in the campaign rather than a sheep was to emphasise that there was no danger to the woman and the shearing was well executed, to the extent that you would trust a shearer to cut a tight-fitting thermal garment away from your body.
“Therefore the ASB having common sense should see it as it is, light-hearted and humorous, not degrading or demeaning or discriminating,” Shear Ewe argued.
However, the ASB found the advertisement depicts the man in a position of power and the woman in a submissive position.