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The advertisement for Battery Energy Drink, published in the March 2009 issue

of FHM, clearly contravenes the Australian Association of National Advertisers'


Code of Ethics (the 'Code'). The advertisement breaches Sections 2.1 and 2.3 of
the Code, which state "Advertising... shall not portray people... in a way which
discriminates against a person or section of the community on account of...
sex..." and "Advertising ... shall treat sex... with sensitivity to the relevant
audience..." respectively. The advertisement's blatant and unnecessary sexual
implications mean that it is not suitable under the Code.

The layout used in the advertisement give strong and unnecessary sexual
implications. Dark hair and clothes of model blend into background, highlighting
her skin. Any large amount of exposed skin is usually a reference to sex. Coupled
with the stark contrast of the model's g-string on her lower back and the fact she
is not wearing a bra, the large amount of exposed skin instantly gives the
impression that this advertisement has strong sexual connotations. The eye of
the young, adult males targeted by the advertisement, is instantly drawn to the
beautiful, airbrushed face of the model. The shape of her face draws the eye
downwards, along the exposed flesh of her arm to the pool cue in her hand. At
this point the eye does one of two things. Either it continues downwards toward
the attention grabbing copy or jumps across to the model's g-string. If the latter
approach is taken, the eye is drawn down the model's leg to the copy anyway.
The copy does not explicitly state what the product being advertised is but it
points toward the brand name and slogan in the corner. After reading the brand
name and discovering the advertisement is not for lingerie but rather for an
energy drink, the eye is then drawn back up, via the model's other leg, to the g-
string. The shape of the pool cue in the model's hand and the way she is holding
it also provide strong sexual references within the advertisement. This blatant
appeal to the sexual desires of young men breaches Section 2.3 of the Code.

The use of persuasive techniques in this advertisement draws the reader into it
and convinces them to purchase the product. However, this only works because
of the sexual connotations of the layout of the advertisement. The yellow and
white on black colour scheme of the copy is synonymous with grabbing attention
and is very effective in this advertisement. In the copy, the word "Energy" is
highlighted in yellow whereas the other words are white. This draws extra
attention to "Energy". The sexual theme of the advertisement changes the
meaning of the word from its’ usual meaning to "sexual energy". The slogan
"Man Fuel" implies that the product is only for men, to be used as a stimulant.
The strong sexual connotations of the advertisement position the reader to feel
that it is implying the product is a sexual stimulant, which it is not. The
persuasive devices within the advertisement position the reader to identify with
the men depicted in the words of the copy. The copy suggests it is easy for men
to spot an exposed g-string in a pub (1%) and very difficult for them to look away
(95%). Through the use of persuasive techniques, this advertisement encourages
perverted behaviour in males and promiscuous behaviour in females.

Constructions of representations of men and women in the advertisement are


essential to the effect of the advertisement although they are negative and
vilifying. The fact that the model's g-string is visible above her pants along with
her facial expression represents women of her age bracket as promiscuous and
proud of it. In this advertisement, the men of the target audience are
represented in two ways, as perverted and sex driven and as loafing and slothful.
The copy states that men use 95% of their energy to look away from an exposed
g-string, implying that it is almost impossible for them to look away. The
advertisement states that it takes men 96% of their energy to perform a simple
task; this also shows them as slothful. This advertisement vilifies men and
women in these ways and clearly breaches Section 2.1 of the Code by vilifying
them on the basis of sex and age.

The advertising campaign for Battery Energy Drinks needs to be redesigned to


comply with the Code. Some recommendations for a suitable marketing
campaign include; showing great feats of strength or stamina as a result of using
the product or, using the percentages device used in the current advertisement,
have the percentages add up to 110% and state that the extra 10% comes from
the product. With these alterations, or some of a similar nature, Battery Energy
Drink advertisements would comply with the Code and be suitable for public
view.