Whilst reading through the latest issue of PRWeek (6th September) it got me thinking about how much people love to complain. This thought was provoked by the article ‘Pot Noodle Facebook post banned by ASA’ written by Amy Sandiford-Watts. In short, Pot Noodle posted a photo to its Facebook page of a women half-naked provocatively posing alongside the ‘Bombay Bad Boy’ flavour Pot Noodle with the caption, ‘Phwarr is it me or is it getting hot in here? HOT OFF. Which one gets you hotter?’
After receiving complaints about the ‘degrading’ comparison between women and food products the ASA stated it was a ‘blunt comparrison’ and was ‘crass and degrading’, resulting in the post being banned. (However, just because the photo was banned from the Facebook page doesn’t mean it’s not still floating around on the internet for the likes of me to find.) My argument here isn’t that it wasn’t ‘degrading’ to women, on some level it is, but on a larger level it’s merely a cheeky innuendo which follows Pot Noodles standard tongue-in-cheek humorous approach.
Of course some people will be offended by it, but as degrading women in the media goes it’s really not that bigger deal (especially when compared to how women are objectified in the fashion and sport industries). And of course, I’m not saying that showing women off in the media is OK as long as it’s in small doses but that’s what sells, right? Sexiness, humour and the ability to get people talking. Unilever (owners of Pot Noodle) argued that it was a ‘lighthearted innuendo’ and that they ‘believed the word [hottie] would not cause widespread offence’. Objectifying women in the media, or men for that matter (I think we can all remember the Diet Cola advert), is wrong and causes strings and strings of backlash for both sexes, especially the younger generations but in my opinion this seems to be just a case of ‘moany-mouths’ finding any cheeky or controversial piece to have a whine about.
You can find the MediaWeek powered article in the latest edition of PRWeek. (Which, is sadly the last weekly printed edition as it’s gone digitial. HURRAY!)