Cannes Lions-winning ad slammed for promoting rape culture

Another award winner at the Cannes Lions advertising conference has come under fire, this time for promoting rape culture. Following the news that Gray Singapore's 'refugee-finding' app was essentially a fake, the also-Bronze-Lion-winning ad for aspirin brand Aspirina was called out for making fun of someone secretly filming someone during sex. 

The ad (above) was created by Almap BBDO for pharmaceutical Bayer and reads "'Don't worry babe, I'm not filming this'.mov. That the ad is referring to a non-consensual 'sex-tape' is isn't explicit – but you'd have to be particularly naive not to infer it. By saying that the impact of the act of being recorded in such a way can be cured with a headache pill minimizes just how much a crime that is. 

The ad was called out by activist Cindy Gallop, founder of MakeLoveNotPorn and former chairperson of BBH in the US. She tweeted, "Don’t use this to sell aspirin, male-dominated ad industry, & don’t award it, male-dominated juries."

Criticism of the Asprina ad comes in a busy week: Unilever (incredibly, the owner of both Dove and Lynx) has vowed to drop sexist stereotypes from its ads; and, after a Cannes party invitation sought “attractive females and models”, a blow blow-up doll protest hit Cannes as part of Badger & Winters’ #WomenNotObjects campaign.

The Aspirina brand has previously profited from the ‘women are a headache’ theme. 

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