5 Times Advertisers Totally Condoned Rape (Then Apologized Lamely)

Photo: WeHeartIt

More than one person thought these were OK.

Bloomingdale's is coming under fire a caption in its holiday catalog that is blatantly (and creepily) date-rapey. But this isn't the first time a company has done something like this. Here are five times advertisers thought using implied sexual violence against women (and in one case men) would help them sell their products. 

2015: Bloomingdale's
Photo: Imgur
bloomingdales rape ad

This sleazy caption in the Bloomingdales 2015 holiday catalog seems to say "Go ahead. Date rape your best girlfriend." 

The Twitter was not amused.

Bloomie's apologized, but we still dirty and violated.


2015: Bud Light
Photo: Imgur
bud light rape

"The perfect beer for removing the word 'no' from your vocabulary for the night. #upforwhatever" Yes, you read the label on the Bud Light beer label right. But they didn't mean for it to imply taking advantage of a drunk woman (or man).

And they (half-heartedly) apologized: "It’s clear that this particular message missed the mark, and we regret it. We would never condone disrespectful or irresponsible behavior. As a result, we have immediately ceased production of this message on all bottles."

"Missed the mark." That's quite an understatement.

2007: Dolce & Gabbana
Dolce & Gabbana rape ad

This Dolce & Gabbana ad, along with others in this series, was banned by the Italian advertising agency, which said the photo "offended the dignity of the woman" and because of "the passive and helpless position of the woman relative to the men around her, and the representation of abuse or the idea of violence towards her."

You'd think the agency was stating the obvious. But having to STATE it mean it wasn't obvious to everyone.

The Internet outraged (again) over this ad after the house of D&G came under fire for its controversial stance against gay adoption in early 2015, thanks to this tweet by high-profile publicist Kelly Cutrone:


Oh, the ad campaign also included this equally disturbing ad implying a gay gangbang:


The fashion designers didn't have much to say except to refer to Spain, which also banned the ads, as "a bit backward." Stay classy, D&G!

2010: Calvin Klein
Photo: AdWeek
calvin klein rape ad

Calvin Klein loves creating controversy and is well aware that sex sells. But back in 2010, the fashion designer pushed things a little too far with this advertisement featuring Dutch model Lara Stone.

The ad was banned in Australia for being "suggestive of violence and rape" and because it "was demeaning to women by suggesting that she is a plaything of these men. It also demeans men by implying sexualized violence against women."

2012: Belvedere Vodka
Photo: Jezebel
Belvedere vodka rape ad

One thing's for sure with this (pulled) ad by Belvedere Vodka: This guy wants something from this woman that she doesn't want to give him. And he's physically trying to get it. Textbook definition of assault. Add in the caption, and what you've got is a creepy rape ad.

Belvedere quickly realized it messed up after posting the ado n Twitter. But how did this thing ever get out of the conference room much less into print?



Explore YourTango