Twitter is blowing up with criticism toward an ad that won a Bronze Lion at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity on Thursday.
"Don’t worry babe, I’m not filming this," is the tagline for an ad created by Brazilian agency AlmapBBDO for Bayer aspirin. The type is in all caps in the middle of the bare, gray ad, otherwise only showing minuscule images of the Aspirina and CafiAspirina products. Many observers took to social media to accuse Bayer of condoning the filming of sexual activity without consent.
Cindy Gallop, former BBH executive and frequent industry critic, pointed out the ad's win on Twitter, writing, "Don’t use this to sell aspirin, male-dominated ad industry, and don’t award it, male-dominated juries."
Posted at 6:45 a.m. ET (6:45 pm HK/SG), the tweet had already been retweeted 350 times and had received 294 likes by 2 p.m (2 am HK/SG).
Creatives and consumers alike are speaking out on Twitter about the ad. Bayer could not be reached for comment.
In case you were wondering if the world of advertising awards is still capable of being tone deaf, the answer is yes https://t.co/z6tq91JP3B— RJG (@rjgnyc) June 23, 2016
This inspires me to buy any brand other than Bayer. https://t.co/X6zAEyHIsq— Shannon Michelle (@BlsdRtheChzmkrs) June 23, 2016
Maria Petrova, senior graphic designer at Anomaly, calls the ad "a new low" for the marketing industry:
Tweeter Ken Archer imagined the spot as the product of a male-dominated office.
@cindygallop I can just imagine the young women in low-level agency jobs forced to smile & nod while these concepts are presented by execs.— Ken Archer (@kenarchersf) June 23, 2016
According to another tweet of Gallop’s, the jury was made up of 11 men and 7 women.
This isn't the first Cannes 2016 incident to provoke accusations of blatant sexism. A party invitation sent out by VaynerMedia Wednesday invited "attractive females and models only" to attend. VaynerMedia CEO Gary Vaynerchuk, who condemned the invitation and blamed a third-party booker, told Campaign US he did not see the email as a representation of sexism in the ad industry but a typical approach for a party at a club.