Is All Publicity Good Publicity?
SheRides Cycling was never intended to be a platform to deal with politics or sexism, the only intention I have ever had was to give people 5 minutes of something else in their day, maybe they would find something here that would get them through the day.
On my my commute home last night, I was on twitter and in my feed I found a video that had been tweeted by one of the women we follow. A video by Limitless Performance (Clothing Company from the UK), Cycling Tips has already written up his thoughts this morning which are of course very balanced and to the point; thank you Wade.
The video said,
Nice Try Girls
but it’s not for you
They meant that they didn’t have a clothing line for women, not overly important these days as there are plenty of companies that cater for women. Also not overly important when you have a video that shows a guy ‘blasting’ past a couple of women who they’ve already made to appear inadequate.
The minute the guy ‘blasts’ past out of the saddle and the women give up its already clear that this isn’t for ladies, the body paint takes it one step too far.
When I watched it I automatically assumed that they meant girls shouldn’t cycle, the company has put an apology on their website stating that it was intended to show that they didn’t have kit for women.
I’m a very forgiving person when it comes to advertising, it’s one of my favourite things, to watch, well composed advertisements and understanding the aspiration that they wish me (the viewer) to have. I believe in the cat walk, and I believe in models as coat hangers to display the cut and flow of designer goods. I believe that if you can get attention for your company by using sex then do it, sales matter and the whole world is not ethical.
But this video made me mad.
The only requirement for suffering these days is that one be born a woman and that video is an indication that we can consider women to still be inadequate; not fast enough, not strong enough and not interesting enough.
Most companies have learnt the art of balancing sex appropriately in their advertisements. Take Nike for example, they use women who’re simply sexy because of what they do, dancers that are strong and competent and know who they are. The message comes across so brilliantly that you want to be them, part of you wants that attitude and to feel what they feel.
Limitless Performance, you made me feel like I was nothing, that I train for no reason, that my start line wasn’t as important as yours.
That my goals shouldn’t be considered and when a large percentage of women control household budgets you really should consider who you’re trying to reach.
Advertisement speaks volumes, there’s a reason why companies have consultants to manage advertisements and to judge whether the advert will reach the appropriate audience.
The middle aged man in Lycra will not be reached here, he’ll probably be insulted because his wife rides, and he doesn’t think she’s some piece of arse in body paint. The A grade racer? No, because he probably got his arse kicked by Nicole Whitburn at one point in his racing career and know that women have value on the course. What about the triathlete? Or the long course participant? No. Because they know that the world has women like Chrissie Wellington and Caroline Steffan.
Companies like Assos, Rapha, Netti, Castelli, Ground Effects and Peal Izumi all make good kit for women and men across a range of different price ranges.
I think it’s fair to say that Limitless Performance got chicked and pulled the video.