West Quay Cars has received 16 direct complaints for their anti-drink driving advert featuring a large woman, while a male version of the same poster has received none.
The second poster still reads the words ‘If I start to look sexy, book a taxi’, but instead of a large woman it displays a moustached man with a sleazy look on his face.
The photographed man is clad in an unbuttoned shirt revealing a hairy chest, with a thick gold chain around his neck and large rings on his fingers.
He points at the camera, drunken-eyed and grinning suggestively.
The previous advert, showing a voluptuous woman attempting a suggestive pose in a low-cut top, was criticised by Southampton Feminist Society for inciting sexism.
Kristian Gardner said of the advertisement campaign:
Is it sexist? Exact same advert but with male model, can’t see how that classes as sexist myself.
He went on to add:
I understand how people can see it as bad taste, just not sexist.
Meanwhile, West Quay Cars has been publicly shamed by fellow Southampton cab company, Aero Taxis.
Now that the male counterpart has been revealed, has the criticism been withdrawn or altered?
Amy Bolton from the University of Southampton Feminist Society said:
It is [still] a really, really shit and offensive advert.
Georgia Jeffery, also from FemSoc, added:
It’s still a body shaming issue just not quite so gender specific as first thought.
Following the negative backlash from the adverts, West Quay Cars told us:
We have received 16 negative complaint posts via social media in respect of the poster depicting the female, their claim is that we are sexist, a claim we refute in the strongest possible terms.
We have not received any communication directly to the office by phone or email. We have by the way, received no complaint or negative comment on the male poster whatsoever!
Does having a male version of the advert make it ok? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!