Friday, August 08, 2003

Mass distraction

The Brits have begun going easy on their stiff upper lips stuff. In fact they’ve learnt to accept things like breasts as part of female anatomy and not female atanomy.

If you don’t know what atanomy is here’s help: It’s an anagram. An anagram as you all know is a word or phrase made by rearranging the letters of another word or phrase. Like Mother in law is an anagram of Woman Hitler. Now since you have received that email about anagrams like ‘Decimal Point’ rearranged as ‘I'm a dot in place’ and ‘President Clinton of USA’ rearranged as ‘To copulate he finds Interns’ I will not bore you with this stupid anagrams.

Instead I will use the increasing British understanding of humour in ads. An advertisement for budget airline EasyJet featuring a picture of a woman's breasts in a bikini top with a headline "Discover Weapons of Mass Distraction" was not offensive, Britain's advertising watchdog has declared.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said it had received only 186 complaints about the advert from some who said the ad was demeaning to women.

These 186 people are from that not-so-critical mass which criticises the use of female form in advertisements. They say beauty is only skin deep, it’s the inner beauty that matters most.

They must be kidding? I haven’t seen anybody’s innards, but once I saw somebody’s intestines on a medical programme, I found them pretty slithery.

And let me assure you the heart-shaped hearts you see on I-Love-You cards and hoardings is either a myth or manipulated by lovers. The heart’s diagram in the biology book is pretty yuck, especially in colour.

Ad guys have to use the outer beauty. You must have heard about the First Law of Advertising: Sex sells. So it’s perfectly legal for them to use sex in ads. But the problem comes when prude dudes point out the use of women in ads where they needn’t be.

The first example they invariably offer is that of sexy models in an ad for truck tyres. Well, the dudes miss the point: Many women have tyres around their waist. And if you use those women, it’ll be such a waste of space and paper. So they trim the women, and save trees.

People even used object to the use of female models in promos for shaving kits. But women who shave saved the advertising industry.

Now there’s this objection to images of certain parts of women’s body. Those who are abreast with trends in advertising would notice the standards haven’t gone down yet. All these ads on the boob tube have been focussing on the upper half, so there’s no question of going down or something.

In the cigarette ads I hardly see women smoking. In 90 per cent of ’em, it’s the guy who’s smoking. The girl is just in love with the guy smoking that cigarette. Is it true? Do women love guys who smoke? I’ll go ask my women friends.

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