The Israeli newspaper Haaretz is under fire from women’s groups, lawmakers and its own reporters after launching an advertisement campaign showing a couple having sex, which critics are calling "pornographic" and degrading to women.
An image from Israeli newspaper Haaretz's controversial new advertisement that its reporters are calling "pornographic." (Image source: Haaretz via YouTube)
The ad, called “Yes, It’s Good. It’s Not Bad at All,” shows a young couple in their twenties engaged in a variety of sexual positions. The experience, however, seems unsatisfying for the man, who says to the camera in the middle of the act, “Yes, it’s good. It’s not bad at all. Enjoyable. But to be fair, the deal feels a bit outdated.”
“Front. Back. Inside. Outside,” he laments as if it’s all so boring. Of the woman, he comments, “impressive design and comfortable, but in the overall user experience there’s a bit of a feeling of ‘been there, done that.’”
The woman moans, “Yes,” and the man mocks her, “Yes! More! Ah! For this I did an M.A….almost?”
A voiceover tagline says, “Life isn’t as interesting as Haaretz’s website.”
Reporters at the paper are demanding the ad be taken down. In a protest letter to Haaretz management obtained by the Hebrew news site Mako, they write that the advertisement “hides behind the guise of ‘daring’” yet “promotes pornographic content.”
“We are ashamed today to work at a newspaper that under the guise of irony and sophistication (whose quality is doubtful) a silent woman is shown in the role of sexual object,” the letter read, adding that the man treats her “in the same way that he would test the performance and quality of a smartphone, car, website or any other product."
The reporters said the even in an era of social networking, "there is such a thing as bad publicity – which can cause enormous damage."
In their letter, the journalists suggest the “degrading” ad is all the more shocking, because Haaretz “boasts” the quality of its content along with “egalitarian and liberal values.”
Member of Knesset Pnina Tamano-Shata sent a letter to Haaretz publisher Amos Schocken demanding an immediate removal of the “chauvinistic” and “sexist” ad which she says presents women as objects, Israel Radio reported.
According to Mako, Haaretz later posted a comment on YouTube trying to explain the ad’s objective, but then promptly erased it. It explained that the intention of the video was twofold – an ironic message and a true message.
“Let’s admit the truth for a moment - in how many moments in our lives do we prefer to surf [the internet]…rather than being truly present? Isn’t that a feeling we all experience and don’t hesitate to admit?” Haaretz posted.
TheBlaze opted not to post the full ad, but it can be viewed on YouTube.