Yesterday, I wrote about the new Kazam smartphones and today I’m also writing about Kazam, but with a very different story. The UK Advertising Standards Agency has banned an advert for the Kazam Tornado 348 because it objectifies women. In the advert, a woman wearing lingerie is getting dressed by pulling on a pair of jeans and then goes to iron a blouse, but she discovers that her Kazam Tornado 348 smartphone is in the pocket. The Advertising Standards Agency received complaints regarding the advert and banned it, stating that “much of the ad focused entirely on the actor in her underwear including scenes that featured several close-up shots that lingered over her breasts, buttocks and lips.” It added that the sexual nature “was heightened by the suggestive nature of the music and voiceover and further reinforced because the focus on the woman bore no relevance to the advertised product.”
Kazam’s defence stated that it was a likely scenario (getting dressed and discovering your smartphone already in a pocket of an item you’re about to iron), that it showed the actor getting dressed rather than undressed and it was only shown on the television during times when the audience was likely to appreciate the tongue in cheek nature of the advert and children were not likely to be viewing. The fifty second advert as the Tornado 348 showing in just ten seconds.
The technology and telecommunications sectors already have a problem with objectifying women: we’ve recently covered Nokia showing off their tablet by a suggestively clad model simply holding it up without using it. From time to time device manufacturers reinvent their wheel by “designing a device for women,” but without really considering the implications. And let’s not mention OnePlus! Kazam’s defence implied that the advert is tongue-in-cheek and threw a “we thought of the children!” remark at the ASA but did not address the objectifying women issue.
Putting this to one side, the argument here is by how the product was presented rather than on the merit of the claim that the Kazam Tornado 348 is indeed the slimmest smartphone on the market. It isn’t: for a time the Tornado 348 was the slimmest smartphone but that honor now belongs elsewhere! Meanwhile, the ASA has told Kazam not to broadcast adverts that could offence by objectifying women and I daresay advertising the Tornado 348 as the world’s fifth slimmest smartphone doesn’t work quite as well.