boycott buttonHere’s a pre Christmas shopping heads-up, especially for folks Down Under. It’s a warning from Australian group Collective Shout, a grassroots campaigning movement challenging the sexualisation and objectification of women and girls, about brands that do precisely that. In a press release they say:

Collective Shout has published a list of corporate offenders comprised of companies and brands which have excelled in the objectification of women and sexualisation of girls in their advertising and marketing during 2011.

“The companies we have named do not respect women, they have not responded to complaints or changed their ways, so we are calling on shoppers to boycott their stores and labels during the holiday season,” Collective Shout spokesperson Melinda Tankard Reist said.

At the top of the list is jewellery and accessories retail chain Diva. Diva came under fire recently for selling Playboy branded products next to Winnie the Pooh and Disney princess necklaces. A petition started by Collective Shout through accumulated over 7000 signatures and was hand delivered to Diva stores.

Unilever is also on the list. The corporate is criticised for claiming to care about women through its ‘Dove’ label while producing sexist and objectifying advertising through its ‘Lynx’ label. Lynx’s latest advertisement ‘Rules to Rugby’ featured slow motion footage of women playing Rugby Union in revealing mock ups of Rugby Uniforms and close ups of women’s sexual body parts. Lynx has been a long-time offender.

City Beach, Cotton On and a number of other clothing retailers are also featured for the selling of porn t-shirts depicting naked or semi-naked women in sexualised poses and often as the subject of violence.

The full list of brands can be found at

Collective Shout hopes this campaign will help remind corporations of the importance of corporate social responsibility.

Thanks for the warning, CS.

Carolyn Moynihan

Carolyn Moynihan is the former deputy editor of MercatorNet