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"You wanna feel?" - Complaints that this Opel ad is 'sexist' have been rejected

Regulators say the ad was ‘light-hearted’ in nature.

Source: Opel Ireland/YouTube

TWO COMPLAINTS MADE against an Opel ad for being “offensive and sexist towards women” have been rejected by regulators.

The complaints related to an ad for Opel’s OH! car model which has a heated steering wheel as one of its features.

The ad features a woman driving the car with a male passenger next to her. When they stop at a pedestrian crossing the woman turns to the man and asks,

You wanna feel? Nice and warm.

The man looks slightly stunned and the question and says ‘Ok’ before slowly moving his hand towards her breasts. The woman then shakes her head and directs his hand towards the steering wheel.

The man then says ‘Oh’ as he touches the steering wheel and the tagline reads:

“The new OH! by Opel. The Corsa with heated steering wheel.”

The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland received two complaints about the ad which alleged that it was “offensive and sexist towards women”.

The complainants also felt that the language contained sexual innuendo and was not suitable for children. They felt it was inappropriate for it to be played during the day or on RTÉ’s or TV3′s online players.

In defence of their ad, Opel said that the ad was light-hearted and was not intended to be demeaning to women.

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They also said that:

The female driver portrayed was in control at all times and when the man misinterpreted her query, she clearly indicated very quickly that he was wrong and corrected him.

The ASAI accepted the defence of the ad, saying that it was indeed light-hearted and that “the woman did not appear at any stage to be unduly upset by the man’s misinterpretation of her query”.

It was therefore deemed that it did not breach the advertising code of practice.   

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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