A new advertising campaign by a New Zealand men’s fashion label is being slammed on social media for being “sexist” and “misogynistic”.
I Love Ugly released a lookbook on Tuesday showcasing their new range of men’s rings, which features images of a clothed man with his hands placed on various parts of a naked woman’s body.
In one of the pictures, a naked woman sits with her legs open while a man's hand, featuring the I Love Ugly rings, covers her private parts.
The company described their motivation on Facebook saying that since jewellery makes “a lot of males uneasy” and tried to create something that men could “potentially see themselves wearing”.
But social media erupted with criticism with many voicing their disgust and disappointment at the company’s decision to run the pictures.
wow jus saw the new @iloveugly and nearly threw up in my mouth... men so sensitive that 2 sell them jewellery u gotta have women naked UGH— kill murray (@drakesgurl420) December 2, 2015
Hey @iloveugly, you're not onto something good when you're actively contributing to a system that treats women as second class citizens.— Frances Cook (@FrancesCook) December 2, 2015
Woohoo thanks @iloveugly - we needed some new resources to show our students sexism & the objectification of women in advertising. Good job— Richard Hills (@richardhills777) December 2, 2015
I Love Ugly responded to the cristim on Twitter, saying they’d had “mixed reviews” of the campaign and that the backlash proved it was "onto something good".
Mixed reviews about our latest ring campaign. Some love it, some hate it. If you're nervous about something . You're onto something good.— I Love Ugly (@iloveugly) December 1, 2015
Mixed reviews is code for "our marketing campaign is straight up rape culture and a giant step backwards." https://t.co/uniddFXeUT— AliceBrine (@AliceBrine) December 2, 2015
Actually @iloveugly maybe you're nervous because you know deep down that your campaign is lazy, has been done before, is sexist as hell.— Smallpocalypse (@Ahhmandah) December 2, 2015
A few stood behind the fashion label, saying the images were meant to showcase women’s beauty. Another supporter urged the company: “stick to your guns”.
@iloveugly You didn't see people complaining when Michelangelo created the statue of David. Body is beauty. Don't listen to the haters.— Danny (@d_pp_lg_ng_r) December 2, 2015
@iloveugly I fucking think it's dope af. Gonna buy it soon— Frank Shi (@frankshi3d) December 2, 2015
@iloveugly stick to your guns guys. And remember folks, just because you're offended, doesn't mean you're right.— SeanLPT (@SeanLPT) December 2, 2015
The Auckland-based label launched in 2011 and describe themselves as “like-minded individuals” who “value all human aspirations and endeavours with integrity, intellect and creative experimentation”.
While I Love Ugly appeared unlikely to cave to pressure to pull the controversial campaign, some have already pointed to possible breaches in advertising standards.