The Commercial Court number 5 of Madrid has condemned the chain of McFit gyms to withdraw and cease the dissemination of a advertising campaign that “denigrates women” because he presents her “alone and simply as a pretty butt and with erotic connotations”.
The judge has estimated in the first instance the demand for sexist advertising that was filed in 2017 by the Women’s Institute against McFit. The sentence, which not yet firm, it also imposes on the company the procedural costs and the publication of the conviction in the digital media, website or social networks in which the advertising was disseminated.
The judge declares that the publicity spread by the gym chain is “It is illegal and unfair”. This is a promotional video broadcast on YouTube, ‘Proud to be McFit’, and against the image included in advertising canvases installed in buildings and on the company’s website.
In them the female body was used, with close-ups of the buttocks, as a claim not justified by the announced product, as pointed out by the Women’s Institute, which celebrates that the frames of the video have been considered by the judge as a context that “denigrates the woman”.
The sentence determines that more than a sports pants, what the character saw, in the foreground of the buttocks also, is a intimate lingerie, inadequate to be used in a gym where both men and women attend, and which is used to “catch the attention of the public and show their asses in a proactive manner”.
The director of the Women’s Institute, Beatriz Gimeno, has positively assessed the demand estimate because “sexism in communication, especially the use of the female body as an advertising claim, is one of the main factors that contribute to perpetuating discrimination of women and gender violence. “
This is the controversial video that has been removed.
In his opinion, “it constitutes a call for attention to the permanent reification and representation of women as an available sexual object, which has much more impact than is perceived in the transmission of attitudes of domination and, consequently, in the sexual abuse and aggression and in the social undervaluation of women as individuals. “
From the Women’s Institute, as he has remarked, “There is no willingness to prosecute advertising”. In fact, he stressed that a part of the advertisers are changing their communication strategies towards “more respectful” models with the image of women and more egalitarian.
However, he stated that “sexism is still very present. According to the data of the Observatory of the Image of Women, in 2019 it received 780 complaints, of which 454, 58.2%, corresponded to advertising content.
Specifically, it carried out a total of 127 actions (7% more than in 2018), consisting of 67.3% of the cases in cessation or modification requirements for illegal and unfair advertising; 23.6%, in claims or writings of recommendation to the issuing companies; and in 12.5% the cases have been referred to other competent bodies, such as the Prosecutor’s Office, the National Commission of Markets and Competition or the autonomous bodies for the regulation of the game.
In 2019, the campaign with the most complaints was that of Mother’s Day issued by The English Court (130). Others have been the promotional poster for the Holy Week program of the León City Council, ‘León passion’, (12) and the television ad for the Old Spice deodorant (8).