Reebok has pulled one of their adverts which had suggested that women should really “sit on men’s faces” rather than actually asking for their approval, is this is one of those cases where it sounded perfectly fine when they planned it? Well, this seems to be a reoccurring theme as this is not the first time this has happened, they also pulled an advert back in 2012, so what exactly is happening at Reebok?
The sportswear brand marketing director, called Alexander Golofast, the one who promoted the idea within the company, took the brunt of the damage as he resigned over the advert, which sparked such criticism all over social media channels.
He came forward to tell about his frustration with the company’s decisions, firstly to go for it, but then to backtrack on the adverting campaign they planned, he said that Reebok had shown “disrespect for itself”.
“It signed up to this, approved all the quotes, was even delighted with how bold and interesting and in line with the global strategy to do something bright and unusual”
The ultra-controversial advert said this:
“Sit not on the needle of men’s approval, sit on men’s face,”
The slogan that they created had already been authored by one Zalina Marshenkulova, a feminist campaigner who was also said to have appeared in the promotion too!
Alexander apparently defended himself, and the advert that was concerned as he argued that the campaign was a complete success, and that it was because it simply put the sportswear brand in just the spotlight.
“In this slogan, there are two parts: approval and pleasure. The first part calls for being yourself, and the second part calls for people to give each other pleasure.”
“This is the most positive quote that is the best to reflect the image of a modern woman, who not only spits on stereotypes but also a woman who goes into the world with a positive agenda.”
Having said that the campaign was “a huge success”, he also added to that and said that:
“…nobody ever spoke that much of Reebok in Russia, in the world it hasn’t happened since the 90s”
reebok russia has reworded the english ad slogan ‘never apologise for being strong’ as ‘stop sitting on the needle of male approval, start sitting on men’s faces’ pic.twitter.com/mr0qgi3HjG
— S.G. (@smlgff) February 7, 2019
Reebok is a British English sportswear brand that was founded in a smallish place in the United Kingdom called Bolton, back in the late 1950s, they recently launched a huge global advertising campaign.
They are really looking to promote female empowerment using the hashtag #BeMoreHuman, but we are not so convinced, are you?
Their campaigns feature some high-profile individuals like the famous model “Gigi Hadid” who we are familiar with from not only her modeling, but also recent music videos, and the actor Gal Gadot, speaking of which, who encouraged all women to be really assertive and strong!
They launched a Russian version on Thursday and used a hashtag, which was roughly translated to be, #OutOfControl with native Russian models. The New York Post tells the story of the inclusion of mixed martial artist Justyna Graczyk and Anzhelika Pilyaeva, a champion jiu-jitsu fighter too.
The withdrawn slogan had been also authored by Ms. Marshenkulova, according to the “Independent” Newspaper, and she was pictured in one of the Russin campaign images, that was meant to show the slogan.
It didn’t quite work out that way though, and after social media tore it to shreds, then Ms. Marshenkulova, the founder of the Women’s Power feminist Telegram channel, also made fun of it on Facebook…
“God, save Russia from me and from cunnilingus”
She went on to say:
“We live in a world where advertising is a zone of chauvinism and in every second woman is used as bait”
As it happens she told her followers at the Newspaper called the “Telegram” that, even before the backlash started, she thought Reebok was joking and would never ever accept her slogan!
“And here we are launching an advertisement, where one of the slogans (no kidding) is my famous ‘Stop sitting on the needle of male approval, start sitting on men’s faces’!”
“Because it’s time to stop worrying about what others think of you, stop being afraid of being NOT THE GOOD KIND of woman, stop adjusting your life and your looks to what your partner or neighbor said”
At Reebok a spokesperson came forward to state that they really do ensure that their messages meet certain internal standards but that:
“…unfortunately a local execution of this campaign in Russia did not meet these standards.”
They also said that Mr. Golofast was no longer an employee at Reebok, they were very keen to get across the message that what he said and his comments don’t reflect at all the opinions of the company.
The spokesperson said:
“This execution of our ‘Be More Human’ campaign, which was pulled as soon as we were made aware of it, was not authorized by Reebok. The overall campaign, however, will continue as planned”