Axe ad featuring headless breasts because "they are what a man notices first on a woman" branded "sexist" by female viewers

Axe ad featuring headless breasts because 'they are what a man notices first on a woman' branded 'sexist' by female viewers



16:08 GMT, 23 August 2012

A television commercial for Axe has been branded 'sexist' because the female character in the ad is depicted as a headless pair of breasts on legs.

Designed to promote a men's hair product, the concept of the ad, set in an office, is based on the idea that men notice breasts first on a women, while women notice a man's hair before anything else.

In turn, the male character, who admires his amply-chested co-worker from afar, is a thick head of hair on legs.

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axe commercial

Sexist Axe's latest television commercial has sparked controversy because the female character is depicted as a headless pair of breasts

axe commercial

One-track mind The male character, a head of hair, admires his amply-chested co-worker from afar

The TV commercial, by agency BBH New York, is set to the Daniel Johnston
track True Love Will Find You In The End and is concluded with the
tagline: 'Hair. It's what girls see first.'

But the ad, though intended to be humorous, has prompted a backlash from viewers, who consider it to be sexist.

One Twitter user, Hilary Paige Smith, wrote: 'Once again, another appalling display of terrible, sexist marketing from Axe. Don't date guys who smell/act like this.'

axe commercial

Office romance: The ad is set in a workplace and the two characters are depicted as co-workers

axe commercial

Almost there… Their attempt for alone time in an elevator is thwarted when other people crowd in

And Katherine Vong, of Trendhunter,
added: 'Axe has once again turned to stereotypes and gender biases with
its latest Axe Office Love commercial, which essentially represents
females as a giant pair of breasts, no head required.'

Others, though, see the humour in the concept.

AdRants writer Steve Hall said: 'All the brand has done, and always has done, is celebrate the carnal
desire that is ever present between man and woman. It's an innately
human desire. It's a fact of life.'

axe commercial

axe commercial

At last! Finally the two characters' human versions are revealed when they lock eyes at a bus stop

axe commercial

Finale: As the pair approach one another, the tagline appears, reading: Hair. It's what girls see first

This is not the first time an ad for Axe, which is owned by Unilever, has sparked controversy.

An ad in 2010 attracted anger after a man
having a shower after a one-night-stand was seen using his Axe shower gel to
'scrub away the skank'.

And last year, an ad that showed angels falling from heaven because they were attracted to a man's deodorant was banned in the UK and South Africa after regulators ruled that it could offend Christians.