A feminist group has taken flak after calling for Tui beer television adverts to be banned for degrading women and trivialising relationships.
Feminist Action launched a campaign against the DB Breweries adverts, which show men outwitting scantily clad women brewers in order to steal beer.
Spokeswoman Leonie Morris told Newstalk ZB yesterday that the overwhelming message was that the only value women had was as sexual objects.
Speaking to the Herald, she said: "They are also saying that women are stupid ... the men are real dorks, but they still manage to outwit the women.
"It also promotes a form of mateship that dismisses women's concerns, and trivialises relationships with women."
Ms Morris was ridiculed as out-of-touch and hypersensitive after her statement on Newstalk ZB.
One man said he married his wife because she looked good: "The fact she is a sweet soul and intelligent is just a bonus - tell [Ms Morris] to get a life".
And "tell that woman to get a life," instructed one woman caller. "My husband had a Tui girl poster in the garage, and I didn't mind at all."
Others pointed out that the men in the adverts were portrayed unfavourably as "dense pissheads", while one man appeared to be confused about the aims of feminism.
"Leonie Morris belongs to an era I thought had disappeared - that of rampant bra-less women, campaigning for other women to be clothed in burqas."
But Ms Morris said whether the adverts were humorous was beside the point, and that sexist use of or the stereotyping of men was less harmful.
Tui marketing manager Jarrod Bear said the Tui Brewery girls had been involved in advertising campaigns since 2005 without complaint.
"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 Ltd is an equal opportunities employer and we have no grounds for dismissal of the Tui Brewery girls, especially when they're doing such a good job."
Ms Morris told the Herald she was confident an online petition and Facebook page, launched today, would gather enough support to see the adverts scrapped.
Feminist Action, which has about 50 members, was formed six months ago and last year campaigned against two billboards for hearing-aid maker Widex featuring scantily clad women.By Nicholas Jones Email Nicholas