DB Breweries defends 'sexist' Tui advertisement

By Paul Harper

A new Tui beer advertisement has a 'very corrosive effect on women's self-worth', according to a feminist group. Photo / supplied
A new Tui beer advertisement has a 'very corrosive effect on women's self-worth', according to a feminist group. Photo / supplied

DB Breweries is refusing to drop a Tui beer television advertisement despite pressure from an Auckland feminist group.

A new group, Auckland Feminist Action, is planning to launch a campaign to get the ad, which features Tui's long-running brewery girls, removed from air.

In the ad, three men sneak into Tui's Mangatainoka brewery and steal boxes of beer, under the noses of the brewery's attractive female staff.

"The women are depicted as even more stupid than the dorky men who try to steal the beer. The dorky men outwit the women," spokesperson Leonie Morris said.

"If you look at the advert in its entirety, it's demeaning women, it's showing women as just a collection of body parts, it's saying that it is ok to value women on how they look - that's the only value women have in that ad.

That has a very corrosive effect on women's self-worth.

"It is also promoting a form of mateship, dismisses women's concerns and trivialises relationships with women. The women are the killjoys, trying to prevent the men from having a good time. It's giving a message that men have to stick together and triumph over women.

"The other problem with this ad is it is saying sexism is OK as long as it is funny. We're saying sexist humour, racist humour, homophobic humour - none of it is OK and all of it is harmful."

However DB Breweries - which says it has not been contacted by the feminist group directly - is defending the advertisement.

Tui marketing manager Jarrod Bear said the Tui Brewery girls were a long-established part of the beer's marketing campaign which fully complied with advertising regulations.

"We salute Ms Morris for voicing her opinions and the public discussion it has created. The feedback Tui has received has been overwhelmingly supportive. Tui Brewery Limited is an equal opportunities employer and we have no grounds for dismissal of the Tui Brewery girls, especially when they're doing such a great job ."

Auckland Feminist Action are to meet tomorrow night to launch the campaign. The campaign will include social media such as Facebook and an online petition to persuade DB Breweries to drop the advert.

"Once we've done some work on that ad then we will be looking for other adverts that need to be addressed," Ms Morris said.

"Today, women and girls are bombarded with images. Think about the music videos, movies, advertising - over time a lot of people now feel silenced, because these images are everywhere. We want to kick start communities talking again about how harmful these images are for women.

Ms Morris said feminism had died away in recent years, but young women were now more turned on to ideas of equality.

"We have a lot of young women involved in feminist action," she said. "There is a new revival as women are starting to see how misrepresented they are by all the stereotyped images.

She said people who label feminism as "political correctness" are just trying to shut down debate.

"I think that does do damage, we want an open society where discussion of diverse ideas are welcomed. It is damaging as soon as someone expresses their concerns about something that nonsense of labelling them as politically correct is silencing them."

Ms Morris acknowledged it was not just women who were demeaned by negative images in advertising, but also men, homosexuals and various ethnic groups.

She said these images are "not helpful either".

"They are perpetuated these stereotypes when we are all trying to move forward to equal relationships."

Watch the ad here.:

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