Acora Ltd. identifies itself as an innovative, leading provider of IT services and technology. However, this advertisement released in 2013 discredits any claim to a progressive business model. The primary subject of this advertisement ridicules a heavier woman by portraying her as undesirable, desperate and unworthy of the attention of men. Acora’s advertisement is body shaming women with this figure by clearly suggesting that this common body type is unappealing, sending the message to women that it is not socially acceptable to have confidence if you look like this. In contrast, the male is depicted in the dominant position and portrayed to host a sense of professionalism. As the male is standing above her symbolically in the position of power, he is assumed to have sexual authority. This is highly problematic for the progression of consent culture, as it emphasizes male-favouring gender disparities when it comes to consent. In this advertisement, the woman’s consent is assumed; the notion of “choice” in this image is constructed to be in the hands of the male. Furthermore, this advertisement problematically characterizes the woman as vulnerable and dependent. IT and Tech are widely acknowledged as male-dominated fields and criticized for hosting a sexist, misogynistic culture due to advertisements like Acora’s. Ultimately, this industry would benefit from expanding business strategies which recognize the benefits of diversification in the workplace. To do so- need to stop disincentivizing women from entering. Lastly, advertisements and consumer culture have a large impact on social standards and trends which affects women and girls, but there are also significant effects on men and boys. Public relations agencies have an obligation to be more inclusive in their advertising strategies.
As the original advertisement fed off of female insecurities, the revised and culture jammed image was altered to reframe the main features of the original advertisement. Although this culture jam is less provocative than more traditional culture jams, it aims to deliver the message that marketing strategies do not need to objectify women, body shame or promote rape culture to advertise a company’s services effectively. In altering Acora’s original advertisement, I removed the woman entirely from being the main feature of the advertisement. Removing the core subject of the advertisement that objectified a women was a very high priority. This edit supports my central argument that people do not need to be degraded for a message to be delivered effectively. Furthermore, the simplistic statement in the advertisement, “some things are better outsourced”, while focusing on a woman in a vulnerable position allowed too much room for interpretation. I substituted the naked woman for images which represent technology. This revision does a better job of advertising what services Acora is aiming to promote. The previous advertisement does not effectively convey what products or services Acora is selling.
Advertising and popular culture has an immeasurable impact on body image and human behaviour. Advertisements like Acora’s are counterproductive to moving toward a more inclusive society. Ultimately, companies must carefully consider the power of their voice and the message their branding is sending. If advertising culture was conscious of their impact on society, there may be a change on how men and boys feel they should treat women.