Sunday, 22 November 2009

Sexism by M&S at Christmas?

I don’t as a rule notice adverts on TV - and if you were paying attention last year, you’d know this already - mainly because as soon as the adverts come on, I turn the sound off and don't bother looking up for the next five minutes - this is fairly easy for me as I'm usually multi-tasking.

But when I read that people had complained about Philip Glenister [yum] being sexist and demeaning to women in the latest Marks & Spencer advert I thought I’d better have a look. I mean to say, Philip Glenister - aka Gene Hunt - sexist? never.

Hmm, I wonder - this bit of extra FREE advertising must be working well for Marks & Sparks if they’ve gotten through to people like me who mostly ignore advertising!

... Ooooh yes, he is being sexist - but as far as I can tell they’re just playing loosely on his ‘Life On Mars’ character - very naughty but so tongue in cheek that I’d hardly call it demeaning, it’s just fun and there are a lot worse adverts to complain about.

I decided to question the grumpy old man as I know he’s not opposed to the odd bit of bare flesh on the telly.

‘Oi! watch this advert and tell me what you think at the end’ ...

‘Very nice.’

‘Not demeaning to women then?’


Hmm, long words are not his strong point - ‘I mean, do you think that last bit was likely to offend women, as the remark he made “Oh, come on, it's Christmas - that girl prancing around in her underwear.” might be sexist?’

‘Oh no.’

Hang on a minute, he’s looking flustered, he must have thought he was under interrogation here.

‘So ... you like watching young women prancing around in their underwear then?’


Now this is a ploy he’s honed to perfection - asking me to repeat the question to give him longer to think of the correct answer; being slightly deaf, he mostly gets away with it.

I repeated the question.

‘Well yes.’ He said. And with only the slightest of pauses -

‘But only because I'm imagining that it’s you in the underwear.’

He's good isn't he?

It earned him a few brownie points just for his sheer inventiveness and quick thinking.

And I do love to watch him squirm …

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Be nice, I'm very sensitive.