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Email by Dr Caroline Dodds Pennock in response to Pot Noodles PR Agency (14th May 2013) I appreciate you taking the

time to respond to me in person, but I'm afraid that I remain seriously concerned about the recent Piri-Piri Chicken Pot Noodle campaign. Although you say the advertising features 'both males and females', only women are objectified in your mobile marketing, and only a woman (according to witnesses) appeared topless in a large Pot Noodle in Sheffield city centre yesterday. It clearly was not 'fun for all' as I understand that a number of complaints were made directly to your staff in Tudor Square. Whilst your video ad ( does include a man, the difference in the nature of the roles played by men and women is extremely clear. In your mobile advertising ( take n outside The Crucible in Sheffield) men do not feature at all and the woman appears not only as a sexualised figure, but her body features as a stand-in for an object: the most explicit definition of objectification. This kind of marketing not only degrades women (and men) but adds to the 'lad culture' and everyday sexism which legitimate harassment, inequality, violence against women and sometimes even rape. Just saying something 'is not meant to be taken seriously or cause offence' does not mean that it is not offensive. However harmless the intention, the outcome is to sexualise and objectify women in a very public forum. The ubiquitous sexualisation and objectification of women in the media has serious effects for society. According to the American Psychological Association's report on the sexualisation of girls, as well as damaging individuals, more "general societal effects may include an increase in sexism; fewer girls pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM); increased rates of sexual harassment and sexual violence; and an increased demand for child pornography." ( ) If you feel I am over-reacting to your 'tongue-in-cheek' campaign, then

might I suggest you look at the results of this study which demonstrates that, far from being harmless fun, lad culture legitimates hostile sexist attitudes which contribute to discrimination and violence against women: _offenders_and_lads_mags_using_the_same_language.htm?utm_source=d Sexualisation and objectification of men or women reinforce damaging stereotypes about gender which have wider consequences than 'just a bit of fun'. Advertising is a powerful medium which is explicitly intended to influence public perceptions what kind of influence do you think this campaign exerts? Unilever's 'corporate purpose' privileges 'working with integrity' and having a 'positive impact'. They claim to maintain: "the highest standards of corporate behaviour towards everyone we work with, the communities we touch, and the environment on which we have an impact." ( This Pot Noodle campaign seriously damages the integrity of these claims, and I hope you and your clients at Unilever will seriously reconsider it.