German public broadcaster ZDF has drawn the ire of viewers and members of their national team for an ad promoting coverage of the women's Euro 2013 tournament. The spot depicts a female footballer kicking a dirty ball into a washing machine, setting it to "leather" and then sitting on top of it while she waits for the cycle to finish.
Viewers have labeled the video as being sexist and chauvinistic for its odd combination of women's football and washing machines. The German squad isn't very fond of it either. From the Telegraph:
Midfielder Fatmire Bajramaj, who was voted world player of the year in 2010, said it had not gone down well within the Germany squad.
"The advert was not a good idea," said the 25-year-old.
"You'd like the advert to have something to do with women's football, not with a washing machine.
"They should change things for the next advert."
In an interview about the ad, ZDF spokesman Alexander Stock told Bild:
"There is a sensitivity in Germany, which is higher than in other countries in terms of these stereotypes."
"It is not about housewives, but powerful women. We wanted to make an advertisement for the tournament. It is clear to us that we hit on sensitivity, I'm sorry. This is unfortunate, but it was not meant that way. We are not cheesy men, there are many women who worked on it. The clip is not meant to be misogynist."
Stock added that ZDF has no plans to pull the ad.
UPDATE: Instead of pulling the ad, ZDF quickly decided to modify it. Now when the woman kicks the ball in the washing machine, a shirtless man gives her a thumbs up while ironing her kit. It then ends with him continuing with the ironing.
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