Renault burlesque ad banned for objectifying women

Renault's YouTube ad involving burlesque dancers for its Clio range has been banned by the ad watchdog for exploiting women.

The ad, created by Scorch London and called "two unsuspecting guys take the Renault Clio for a test drive", featured hidden camera footage of two men driving the car around London.

As they reached a junction, one of the men pressed a button dubbed "va va voom", kick starting a chain reaction that involved a Parisian backdrop to appear with actors and props, including a couple sitting at a café, a man on a scooter and a market stall.

A group of women then walked in front of the car wearing burlesque style lingerie, while dancing and gyrating around the vehicle and in front of the two men.

The ad ended as the girls walked away and a billboard brandished the words, "Reignite your va va voom."

The ad received one complaint that it objectified women. Renault countered that the ad had only been made available on YouTube and was intended to be seen as humorous through its parodying of Paris, which included the nod to the Moulin Rouge.

The auto brand added that the ad had been viewed over three million times but appeared to only have one complaint.

The Advertising Standards Authority noted Renault’s attempts at keeping the Moulin Rouge reference in theme with the Parisian setting.

However, it highlighted that the scenes with the dancers had a different length, different music and used slow motion shots, often "of the women’s breasts and bottoms," but with their heads obscured.

The ASA concluded the ad objectified the dancers and banned it for being likely to cause serious or widespread offence. 

Subscribe to Campaign from just £57 per quarter

Includes the weekly magazine and quarterly Campaign IQ, plus unrestricted online access.


Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

1 Martin Freeman fronts Vodafone UK's first integrated ad campaign by Ogilvy

The Hobbit and Sherlock star Martin Freeman plays a rude wedding guest in Vodafone's first integrated ad campaign since the telecoms giant moved its UK ad business to Ogilvy & Mather earlier this year.

Case study: How 'This girl can' got 1.6 million women exercising

1 Case study: How 'This girl can' got 1.6 million women exercising

"This girl can" was based on a powerful insight: that the fear of judgement by others is the primary barrier holding women back from participating in sport.

Just published