Hello. A couple of weeks ago an ad for a Saturn sports car appeared in Nova Scotia's provincial daily newspaper, the Chronicle Herald. It featured a man standing at a pay phone beside his new Saturn. The large-letter caption at the top of the page read "A blone, a brunette and a readhead walk into your car..."
Aside from the fact that this ad made no sense to me other than it suggests that men can be successful with sexy women if they drive this particular sports car, I found the language, to say the least, sexist and offensive.
So I visited GM's web site and wrote in a complaint and said I would have thought that the "balds, paunches and greys" at GM would be old enough to figure out that reducing a human being down to a single feature of their anatomy is offensive. Furthermore, they may sway some wealthy men with this ad, but I would imagine they offend far more women, who might, as I might have (past tense!) considered buying one of their cars.
The response I got was equivocal to say the least. A Ms. Elliott wrote that GM doesn't want to offend anyone and they're sorry they offended me, but in this competitive environment they have to use advertising that is "innovative and original." I wrote back "Trust me, there is nothing innovative or orignial about calling women blondes, brunettes and readheads."
I requested the name and mailing address of their CEO or company president so I can bring my concern directly to him. So we'll see how they respond. I intend to address the company head and the board of directors. The prospect of following through on this reminds me of one of my favourite cartoons (from the New Yorker). A bunch of overweight, middle aged men in 3-piece suits are sitting around a board room table in an office tower and the guy at the head of the table says "So then, are any of you not a feminist?"
What should I do? Does anyone have any advice?