Sex in Advertising

So today I want to talk about advertising and the good old sex sells concept. Sort of.

My husband and I were watching soccer/football the other night as we are avid followers of the local league in our country. During one of the ad breaks we saw the usual ‘men are our target’ advertising, including an ad for whiskey or something that suggested women wear bikinis to house parties, and the like. Usual roll your eye stuff, that you dismiss as this whole sex sells, men are the target market thing that goes on a lot on sports channels – just like the market update ads for betting odds that use pretty young ladies.

However we saw one that got to us. This was on a cable TV station, a dedicated sports channel. Other channels feature shows like Project Runway, the Next Top Model franchises from various countries, food and cooking and so on. They often cross-advertise on other channels, as the whole cable system is owned by the one company, so they aren’t promoting competitors.

Ok, back to the ad. This one featured five young women, average age approximately 21. The beginning of the ad is these five girls, in short black dresses, hair back a bit like the Robert Palmer girls from the 80s. They are in a V shape and walking straight to camera.

Ok – cut. What do YOU think this ad is for? We figured it was one of those shows mentioned above – Project Runway, or Next Top Model – both of which have local versions currently screening or about to start here.

Then model #3, front and centre of the line holds up a smart phone and says, “Fire up”

What? ANTM is doing phone voting?


This is an ad for centrebet, a betting agency. The point of the ad is to tell us that you can now bet using their smartphone app on the English Premier League (EPL).

What? But. What?

The rest of the ad features high-action moments from the EPL, with the voiceover giving us all of those details. The girls are never seen or heard from again. They don’t refer to EPL, betting – or anything.

Ok – so the main girl, who gets the speaking role, is Lauryn Eagle. Turns out she’s involved in sport. Helps that she’s incredibly pretty. No idea nor word on who the entourage may be. There is no reference to her sport connection, just her legs, and her lips. They are the only piece of value this girl has, when it comes to sport, apparently.

What the? There are various versions of this ad theme around, I saw a few others on youtube. They get worse. This is the tamest of the lot.

My husband says he’s sick of being considered a penis with a wallet and finds the concept offensive, and you know what? I’m inclined to agree. It’s insulting to men, insulting to women and insulting to the female athletes who don’t get extracurricular or sponsorship work for being inspiring, who don’t even get to HINT about their sport, and are all legs and lips and tight dresses to sell a betting app. One that I won’t be downloading, and neither will my sports-loving husband.


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