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Censorship of women in Israeli advertising [Jul. 9th, 2012|03:39 pm]
Weird Jews 2

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[mick_hale]
https://www.facebook.com/super.pharm.co.il/posts/10150917452471820

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.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: mick_hale
2012-07-15 01:37 am (UTC)
The follow-up post, where I actually went out on my own to investigate it.

Shmarya Rosenberg of FailedMessiah.com commented via e-mail: "It isn't really censorship. It's targeting ads for specific audiences, the same thing advertisers do in the US, Canada, England, France and dozens of other countries. If SuperPharm eliminated women altogether or eliminated women in all of Jerusalem, that would be different."

I e-mailed him back, telling him: "I happen to agree. Which is why I'm kinda bummed by the whole thing. At least I got a nice three hour walk out of it."

My follow-up comment on Facebook: "Now that the post is up and everyone can see it for themselves, I owe Super-Pharm, the Koffler family, and anyone else I've offended an apology. IM<HO, this is not censorship, but rather targeting your audience. I don't like it, but I get it."
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