|Censorship of women in Israeli advertising
||[Jul. 9th, 2012|03:39 pm]
Weird Jews 2
An interesting development in Israel's ongoing fight against ultra-Orthodox extremism. A number of companies here have been called out because they choose to edit women out of their ads, especially in Jerusalem. These companies claim that it is due to the population's sensitivities. This is, of course, pure bullshit since many of the signs where pictures of women are excluded are in non-ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods. This particular link is to a post on Super-Pharm Israel's Facebook where a woman asked why the female model used in their ads was cut out of the ads around Jerusalem. Super-Pharm responded, "Super-Pharm serves the entire population of Israel and does its utmost to respect the needs of different populations, thus advertising in religious areas is customized accordingly." (My translation, roughly accurate.) It should be noted, however, that the signs with the female model removed are seen all over Jerusalem, including "secular" areas where there is little to no ultra-Orthodox population.
The further responses condemn Super-Pharm for taking this stance, and then Super-Pharm tries to whitewash by saying they hire over 50% women, over 50% of franchisees are women, and that they also advertise in Arabic and Russian for those populations.
What would interest everyone about this the most is that Super-Pharm is owned by the Koffler family - the same family that owns Shoppers Drug Mart, a large chain in Ontario and Quebec. So while there is a lot of local Jerusalem politics involved, the censorship of women over so-called "religious sensibilities" in this case is also a Canadian issue, a Jewish issue, and a feminist issue.