Sunday, December 18, 2022

Calls to boycott Westfield over store’s ‘pornographic’ images

A group of campaigners is urging shoppers to boycott Westfield over “pornographic” advertising images displayed by one of its retailers.

The images, displayed in shop windows by lingerie brand Honey Birdette, show models wearing red bondage-style corsets and underwear. One model is topless, with gold pasties over her nipples.

The racy images caught the attention of Collective Shout, a group who rally “against the objectification of women and the sexualisation of girls in media, advertising and popular culture”, according to their mission statement.

LEFT: The Westfield shopping centre in Sydney. RIGHT: Two models pose in red bondage-style Honey Birdette lingerie

Westfield and Honey Birdette have come under fire for displaying the “inappropriate” advertisements. Source: Getty/Honey Birdette

A tweet posted by Collective Shout took aim at Honey Birdette’s window display, saying: “Merry Porny Christmas, kids”, signed from Westfield, Playboy and Honey Birdette.

The group also dug up previous ad campaigns from past years, calling out the ‘inappropriate’ themes on display for children to see.

They claim the lingerie label showed “exposed genitals” and “women as objects” in 2018, while the marketing in 2020 had “more porn”, “orgies galore” and a “three-way bondage session with Santa”.

“What better way to get the kids’ attention, eh Westfield?” they added.

Collective Shout called on shoppers to take their money elsewhere due to Westfield “hosting more and more of Honey Birdette’s degrading, objectifying porn themed porn themed ads in its malls, and profiting”.

“Boycott Westfield and other Honey Birdette shopping centre landlords this Christmas,” they said.

Previous petition gained 78,000 signatures

It’s not the first time Collective Shout has called out Honey Birdette and Westfield. In 2017, Westfield took the complaints onboard and took to Twitter to announce that Honey Birdette would be “removing elements” of their advertising.

A petition that same year gathered almost 80,000 signatures of Aussies trying to put an end to the “raunchy” displays.

Father-of-three Kenneth Thor started the petition and claimed his four-year-old daughter and six-year-old son saw the images and questioned why the model wasn’t wearing any clothes.

“In those brief moments, I remember feeling sad,” he wrote. “Sad that my kids had to see these types of images and be exposed to adult concepts so young. The Honey Birdette posters depicting women in hyper-sexualised poses and various states of undress introduces concepts of pornography and sexuality to a hapless public, including little 4-year-old girls like my daughter.”

Honey Birdette dismissed the petition as “ridiculous”, telling Fairfax at the time: “It’s 2017, it’s time to grow up.”

“You’ll see more flesh at the beach or Pitt Street at 12am on a Friday,” founder Eloise Monaghan said. “It’s absolutely ridiculous, there’s no difference from any other lingerie company or any other swimwear label, and in fact there is less flesh.”

Yahoo News Australia has contacted Scentre Group – who own and operate Westfield – for comment.

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