What woman wouldn’t falsely seduce another to steal her shirt? No, this isn’t another one of my sexist rants: it’s a (legitimate?) question posed by a Renault ad that has been banned in Italy.
The ad features two women – who I’ll refer to as the blonde and the brunette – who sneak off together for some hanky-panky bedroom fun. The brunette undresses; the blonde blindfolds her and steals her pink top, later comparing it to the color of her Renault Twingo Miss Sixty.
The ad was created by the Milanese arm of French advertising firm Publicis, which Renault had used before to great effect with the highly popular Papa et Nicole ads of the 1990s for the Renault Clio I. However, this latest ad has not gone down well in Italy, with TV RAI (essentially Italy’s BBC) and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's Mediaset organization refusing to air it. It has also outraged the nation’s gay-lesbian groups which claim it is offensive to homosexual women.
Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera asks:
“Is it controversial or cutting edge? One thing for certain though at no point during the advert is any technical aspect of the new Renault Twingo ever mentioned.”
Can’t you be both controversial and cutting edge? Lady Gaga (sort of) falls into this category, doesn’t she? *Is pelted with rotten tomatoes* Okay, okay; and let us never speak of her again.
Publicis spokeperson Daniele Tranchini defends the controversial ad:
“We wanted to create an advert that was original, enjoyable and at the same time not vulgar and I believe we have achieved that. What is clever is that you think the advert is going one way but in the end it goes another - its great don't you think?”
For the time being, the ad is only being aired on Sky and has not be shown outside of Italy. Thanks to YouTube, you – our loyal readers – can see the ad for yourselves and render your verdict in the comment’s section below.
By Tristan Hankins