9 Jul 2014

Sexism in the music industry; the sE mic advert

Earlier this morning, SE Electronics issued an apology following the release of the advert for their most recent microphone. Unlike your average advert for such products, SE's advert in July's Sound On Sound magazine caused a bit of an uproar - but why? It's just an advert for a microphone, how could you possibly manage to make an offensive advert for such an advert. Well, here's a look at the advert;

Embedded image permalink

As it's quite plain to see, the SE advert for the microphone (in the left corner there, if you squint you might be able to make it out) doesn't really focus on the merits of the microphone. In fact, it doesn't really focus on the microphone at all, and to say "the SE advert is objectifying women to sell a fucking microphone" would probably be an understatement. The adverts' star, a women whose face is not shown is stark naked, as it's plain to see to anybody.

This Magneto mic ad is quite frankly backwards, using the naked body of a woman to sell the product. It's the type of misogyny and half-arsed advertising is something that would probably be out of place in a car advert from the deep south of the 1950's. And on top of that the woman in question is wearing nothing and is the centrepiece of the page, with a glaring spotlight highlighting her breasts and bottom. But of course, if the spotlight itself wasn't enough to draw your attention to her and not the mic, her body's covered with CGI tattoos, in incomprehensible font that you've got to zoom in on to maybe slightly possibly have a read of. This advert is a feminist issue, and the fact that now, in 2014, the only way that budget sound companies can shift units is through the female human body is quite frankly vile.

If the use of a spotlighted naked woman, quite naturally a skinny and 'sexy' one at that, wasn't disgusting enough, have a read of the apology! The electronics company, sE, issued it this morning to very little avail. Whilst their apology is hollow, ("We apologise unreservedly. We will not do it again.") the justification of their imagery is still very misogynistic - they said "We believed that by creating a piece of art, we were doing something different, something beautiful, that empowered women and celebrated the beauty of the female form." Empowering women? Empowering them to do what? And how exactly is the advert beautiful? How exactly can an advert be beautiful? That's something I'm not sure of, but this one's certainly one of the more vulgar I've ever come across.

The apology issued by SE was about as half-arsed as they come, and I for one want a full scale apology from the company, and for them to acknowledge the sexism of their advert. I'd love it if you could adress SE, either through twitter @SE_Electronics, facebook (here) or by emailing them with these adresses here. Thank you.

(written by Calum Cashin)