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LES ECHOS

When Advertising Attacks Sexist Clichés It Helped To Create

Marketing firms are embracing a strategy called 'femvertising' to challenge the sexist gender molds of the past. Are they pushing equality for equality's sake, or just trying to woo consumers?

'Show her it's a man's world'
"Show her it's a man's world"
Julie Rambal

GENEVA Some may recall an early 90s Audi advert that said, "He has money, power, even an Audi. He'll get the woman." And sure enough, an elegant brunette walking along the street as the luxury sedan drives past gets in the car. The lesson seems to be that men are instinctive hunters when it comes to seduction, and that women sure love money!

Twenty four years later, to coincide with the latest Super Bowl, the same carmaker launched its daughter advert. It shows a girl not yet in her teens participating in a Go-Kart race, and as her soap-box racer catches up with the boys competing with her — determination written on her sweet little face — a voice asks, "What do I tell my daughter? Do I tell her that her grandpa is worth more than her grandma ... that despite her education, her drive, her skills, her intelligence, she will automatically be valued as less than every man she ever meets? Or maybe, I'll be able to tell her something different."

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Mariateresa Fichele

Fifteen years ago, Francesco kept busy by scamming people. He was a regular visitor to the beaches of Terracina, south of Rome, where he was caught several times selling counterfeit Ray-Ban sunglasses. Then came the drugs, which fed a serious substance-induced psychosis and eventually he tested positive for HIV.

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