The Advertising Standards Board has dismissed a case claiming an advertisement in a Father’s Day Myer catalogue “supports a rape culture”.
Montblanc’s ‘Emblem’ fragrance for Men was advertised with the description: “Introducing the new fragrance for men; Emblem by Montblanc, the indelible signature of an eternal man. The scent is classic, demanding, timeless and never consensual.”
The complaint was filed under section 2 of the AANA code of ethics, which states that advertisements should not present or portray violence unless it is justifiable in the context of the product.
“It says the product is never consensual,” the complaint said, claiming that it was “entirely inappropriate” and that “Myer should also hang their heads in shame”.
Myer responded to the complaint, stating that they and the supplier had reviewed the claims and had found that “never consensual” in no way supports or implies rape.
“Rather it expresses that the attitude of the fragrance user does not require approval from others for choosing to wear the fragrance,” Myer said.
“It should be noted that the use of the words “never consensual” has been used in the context and with reference to the scent of the fragrance, and not a person or an act.”
Myer said the words ‘“classic-demanding–timeless-never-consensual” were simply translated from the original French text, “lassique–exigeant-intemporel–jamais consensual”.
The Advertising Standards Board dismissed the complaint after deliberation, determining that the original meaning behind the sentence had been “lost in translation”. The Board also determined that while the word ‘consensual’ was often used when discussing matters relating to rape, the intended definition here was “suggestive of seeking consensus as a product”.