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The Pack


Manifesto (Translation by Regan Kramer)

Sign the Manifesto

e-mail and answer about a sexist ad


A few recent french examples :

« He’s got the money, he’s got the car, he’ll get the woman » (for a car)
« You say ‘no’, but we hear ‘yes’ » (for a chocolate, caption under a photo of a naked model with “chocolate-colored” skin)
« Your fiancée’s mouth will drop open » (under a photo of an inflatable doll with an open mouth, for a portable phone)
A wolfhound licking a woman’s body (for a fashion designer)
« Even whipped or beaten, Babette stays creamy » (for a brand of heavy cream)

Advertising trivializes images of bodies, particularly women’s bodies, and scenes of sex and violence. Ad people offer them up for every conceivable product (from yogurts to cars, and more). Hiding behind the pretext of “creativity” they impose their norms and their fantasies. Advertising people reinforce sexist clichés :

  • reducing women to the roles of “mother or whore”, “child or slut”, “angel or devil”, “mistress or slave”, “housewife or sex object
  • portraying women together as jealous rivals or exhibitionist lesbians
  • presenting men as machos obsessed with power, sugar daddies, or sex objects
  • reinforcing the association passivity/girls, activity/boys


    We say NO to degrading, debasing and de-humanizing
    representations of human beings and their relationships !

    No, advertising people haven't cornered the market on rights!
    No, human bodies are neither sex objects nor merchandise !
    Yes to sexuality, a dialogue of desire between people !
    Yes to respecting human beings !

    We will not buy the products
    promoted with sexist advertising.

    In signing this Manifesto, we the undersigned are calling:

    1. For everyone, male and female, to react to sexist ads and to boycott the products they promote. We will respond to this violence by refusing to buy what these ads want us to buy.
    2. For advertising agencies and their customers to make a commitment to stop representing human beings in a degrading, debasing or de-humanizing manner.
    3. For the media to refuse to publish or broadcast sexist advertising.
    4. For legislators to take the necessary measures to stop sexist advertising :
    - by encouraging advertising agencies, their customers and the media to adopt a code of good conduct, drawn up in collaboration with feminists who have signed this manifesto,
    - by voting a law against sexism to establish a legal framework for advertising.

    Please circulate this document and get as many people as possible to sign it ! Thank you.

    September, 28th 2000

    [signatories' list (in french)]

    Sign the Manifesto

    Associations and organisations can also sign the Manifesto. Simply indicate the type of organisation (e.g. feminist, educational, etc.) instead of filling in the profession.

    first name (caution ! your first name first !)
    family name
    e-Mail Your signature cannot be recorded if you do not indicate your address.

    If you do not wish to receive information about our future activities, check No.
    Yes - No

    City and State
    Apart from your E-mail, this information will be made public.

    You have the right to modify, rectify and suppress the information that you give to us. (Article 34 of the French law of Computer Science and Freedom)

    Please inform Leader of The Pack if you need to modify this information :
    Signers' e-mail addresses will be used for no other purpose than allowing Meute leaders to send information concerning sexism and the Meute's activities.

    About a sexist ad (E-mail : 11 Feb 2002)

    I am emailing about one of your latest efforts to remove the ad with Laetitia Casta with a black eye. Because of your efforts to ban the ad, I have searched to find a copy of the ad, and I do not find it offensive at all. You have completly misinterpreted the ad and should not go forth with your efforts due to your ignorance in the matters at hand. You say it projects images of domestic abuse, which is far from the truth. Why would any store put up an ad of a woman beaten from domestic abuse? It does not make sense, and any similarities between the ad and it are pure coincidence.
    I do not believe in violence, but the store is trying to turn a negative into a positive with a hint of humor.
    I regret your narrow mind has kept you from seeing the potential of the ad.

    Answer of Regan Kramer , for "La Meute" (The Pack)
    Just because our opinion is different from yours does not make us "narrow-minded". Different experiences can create different opinions.
    Has it crossed your (not necessarily narrow) mind that as women (and a few feminist men) we might have different ideas about domestic violence and appropriate subjects for humor than many men do ? In addition, knowing how much time and money goes into advertising campaigns, your idea about the violence being "coincidental" seems naive, at best.
    In addition, the fact that our interpretation of the ad is different from yours doesn't mean that we have "misinterpreted" it. The ad (as with most images) can be viewed on various levels and from various points of view; ours is clearly different from yours. That does not, however, allow you to tell us that we "should not go forth with our efforts". Living in a democracy, where freedom of expression is a basic right, no one can tell us not to "go forth" with the peaceful, non-violent expression of our opinions, particularly when the goal of that expression is to reduce injustice and violence.