Being a woman in the United States is definitely the best place in the world to be a woman. We have an equal say in legislation complete with voting rights. We also have amazing educational and professional opportunities. We can say and do whatever we want. We get everything the guys do, right? Well I would like to say yes, but anyone who is actually a woman in the US knows that it's not really true. We need to think about personal safety - ALL THE TIME. Freedom only goes so far. We constantly have the running commentary in our head: "Should I run out to the grocery store at night? How is the lighting? Will I be safe? Should I go out hiking alone? Will I be safe? Can I go walk around my neighborhood at night? Will I be safe? Is there some suspicious guy lurking around? Is he following me?" As women, we are trained (hopefully) to have these concerns. We always have to look over our shoulder, trying to be aware of the dangers of predatory men. Violent crime against women is a real and perpetual issue - both nationally and globally.
In this day and age where women are STILL experiencing sexual bias in a very big way, these ads disgust me. For some reason Ford decided that the JWT India company was the creative team for them. I would be interested to know how they decided to work with this creative "team". I bet one of their guys went out to the strip club with one of the Ford guys and - bam! - a business relationship was born. I don't buy the argument that these ads were developed as part of the normal creative process by the JWT creative team. As a female creative I would never create this sort of imagery. Abusing women (or anyone for that matter) isn't funny or entertaining and I can't imagine it would appeal to a mass market. I believe that creative people have a responsibility to use their skills for the greater good.
Any global brand that relies on marketing to drive sales needs to be ultra sensitive with their advertising. Did Ford expect that the JWT India would have the same cultural sensitivities as a US company would? Isn't Ford supposed to be one of the great American companies known as the "Big Three"? Or maybe Ford is soley marketing to wealthy, sexist white guys. Which is fine - but it just might impact their sales. Does Ford understand that women control more than 65% of global spending and more than 80% of US spending?
I hope women take a stand on this inexcusable incident and rally against Ford and companies like them that continue to perpetuate this tremendous gender inequality and sexual bias that continues on in a national and global capacity.
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