A complaint with the British Advertising Standards Authority was filed after one YouTube viewer whined that an ad for the Renault Clio objectified women.
The ad features two male drivers who push a button labeled “va va voom” inside the car, followed by a backdrop of Paris, a baguette seller, a couple on a date and Burlesque dancers. In another scene, a female driver is exposed to the same, though a group of shirtless men dance instead.
The complaint included concerns about a number of shots where the women’s breasts or bottoms were exposed and their heads were obscured, leading the viewer to believe that the women had been objectified. The ASA added that the choreography, dress and facial expressions of the dancers were over-sexualized.
The ad is “likely to cause serious or widespread offense,” the ASA wrote.
Renault claimed the commercial was a parody of French culture and the Burlesque dancers were a reference to Moulin Rogue. The company said that the video had been viewed more than 3 million times on YouTube and that no other complaints had been received.
The ASA has asked Renault to remove the scene involving the female dancers, though the male dancers are allowed to stay — a move that upset many.
“Why is it OK to treat men as objects but not women?” a commenter replying to a Daily Mail article on the ad asked.
Renault has been accused of making raunchy commercials in the past. In 2003, a commercial for their Megane car featured men and women’s bottoms.