In early April 2011 SafetyAtWorkBlog questioned the appropriateness of an advertising image of a semi-clad woman in an emergency shower. The emergency shower company, Spill Station Australia, has changed the major image of its shower ads in the most recent brochure being distributed with some Australian OHS magazines.
reservoir, victoria, australia
14 thoughts on “Shower company changes ad image from wet woman to wet man”
David I am not doubting you, I just find it interesting that you say there are still employers who don\’t think or know that they should be supplying safety showers.
I find it even more disappointing that gender is still an issue that is required to attract the eye of a purchaser.
Yeah but there are many many employers who dont even realise or think that they need one, or even know what they are. If they are walking around a safety show or flicking thru a magazine and being bombarded with all the lastest stuff, including other safety showers, what if something appealing instinctively catches their eye, triggers their endorphines, they see what it does because there is a gender using it and makes them think \”Mmmmm I probably should get one of those\”? Or, if you are in the market for a safety shower, with all things being equal, what subconscious thoughts make us choose one or the other – A choice between a shiny metal contraption or a shiny metal contraption with a gender actually showing how it works – no brainer really.
So – potentially more safety products in the market, potentailly preventing serious injury and a company that can better support its employees and their families because they are smarter than their competitors.
A safety shower should not require a test drive, employers who need to purchase a safety shower would do so regardless of male-female-crash test dummy or rescue dog being in the shower,
Bit hard to test drive a safety shower! People want to see it in action – do you show a crash test dummy in there? Safety products are no different to any other product – name one where gender, or even human beings for that matter, are not used to assist sales?
Joyce you are correct any one can do any job gender should not be in question regardless of the job or requirement within the particular job.
Safety equipment should be totally focused on the reason for the equipment, not how good a model from a advertising company can look.
Personally neither of the shower adverts have any meaning for me, I understand that certain industry\’s need to provide showers for their workers, likewise I understand that safety glasses are also required in other industry\’s.
What I do not understand is why gender is still used to promote the sale of any safety equipment.
As a young woman and SHE professional it seems ridiculous that any right thinking person could have a problem with the first ad. Is the problem that she is not ugly or is it that she is a woman? These people need to realise that all types of women can work in and succeed in any work environment.
Nathan you are absolutely correct! and I don\’t mean the nonsense of political correctness. Those that cast doubt on your intentions are usually desk jockeys with little if any real experience at the coal face. What they should all be impressed by is, that there are companies like yours out there doing a better job than many of the complainants and getting safety into the work place for the benefit of workers, more power to you and your sales team.
Maybe we can convince the politically correct naysayers to purchase one of your products and take a cold shower.
As the publisher of this advertising insert I am surprised by the level of interest it has generated. I would however like to set the record straight.
Spill Station prints these inserts in 6 monthly cycles. 18 months ago we printed the insert (100,000 copies) with a picture of a man using the product. Correct use of this product requires contaminated clothing to be removed. The clothing worn under the unbuttoned overall was no more revealing that you would find walking down any street in Australia. I recieved no feedback on this image.
For the second cycle I published the image of the woman using the product (100,000 copies). Again the clothing worn under the unbuttoned overall was no more revealing than you would find walking down any street in Australia. While I recieved no feedback directly, this blog seemed to have sparked some opinions.
I am troubled as to why comment was only made when a woman was shown using the product. Could it be that in an attempt to be , as much as I loathe the phrase, politically correct that they are in fact guilty of the sexism that the proport to be speaking out against? Could it be that they are infact saying that is it OK for a man to be in a work environment where the use of emergency safety showers is required but not OK for a woman to be working in that environment.
From this I can only conclude the people that lodged the complaints are discriminatory individuals that believe that women have no place in a work environment where chemicals are used and stored. I would have thought that the health and safety professionals in Australia would champion the rights of all individuals to participate in all sectors of the workforce regardless of gender or appearance.
Now we are in the 3rd cycle and we have reprinted the image of the man using the shower. Over 28 years of trading, Spill Station Australia has never used promotion models at trade shows. We have never \”used sex to sell\” any of our range of safey and spill control equipment. We like to show our products in use as can be seen by anybody who got a copy of the insert.
Our products are of the highest quality and our range covers all aspects of spill control from storage to clean up. Spill Station Australia does not need to use gimmicks to sell our complete solutions.
Nathan, I greatly appreciate your contribution to the discussion. Hearing from all sides of an argument is a major benefit of running a blog.
Sorry Kevin – I think I prefered the old image, I find this one offensive!. Why not have the man and woman in the shower together? – then surely no-one can complain 🙂 Seriously, how do some people cope with or solve real problems – I\’m guessing they don\’t. If males or females choose to keep themselves fit and healthy and reap the rewards by posing, under their own free will, for \”clean\” photos to help companies sell stuff then how is that different from someone who chooses to study and exercise their mind instead and make money by publically displaying how smart they are by writing articles or giving speeches? If we feel so strongly about something it\’s easy to just look or walk away and focus our energy on fixing more important things, like our own physical, mental or emotional problems and not those of others or trying to influence the way that normal people think about what are simply facts of life and normal human behaviour. Let us make our own choices.
Anything that has a positive impact on improving safety in the workplace is OK by me. One could say that gory safety videos or even graphic road safety ads are offensive – bad luck – its real and it works – get over it! What these boring people dont realise is that their vocal complaints sometimes draw more attention to and interest in the thing they are trying to protect our poor innocent souls from! I would have known nothing about this sexist shower campaign were it not brought to my attention and now I am obviously scarred for life! I might go try some planking 🙂
Maybe they need the female safety officer to assist the poor bloke, who seems to be having real trouble getting out of his gear, you know, just for gender balance purposes………
I agree with Brett the woman was just a marketing gimmick for a product that really did not need gimmicks.
The woman was better looking. Not at all relevant, but better looking. The woman was a simple marketing gimmick, and marketers have been using it for years.