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Rape Crisis Pleased Levis Complaint Upheld

Rape Crisis Applauds Decision by Advertising Complaints Board

Today Rape Crisis applauded the decision made by the Advertising Standards Complaints Board to uphold the complaint against the Levis Original Sin commercial widely screened on New Zealand television and cinema screens.

"The commercial was disturbing and likely to cause distress to many women, adding to the fear of attack that they live with on a daily basis, " said Claire Benson, National Spokeswoman for Rape Crisis, "You had to watch the whole commercial before you knew that it wasn't a television drama or movie trailer - cinema audiences were held captive to it."

The commercial showed a man spying on the young women living opposite. He sees she is about to be attacked in her home by a stranger. He reaches for the phone, presumably to call the police, and the commercial ends telling viewers to wait for the next instalment.

"We were particularly concerned that the commercial seemed to endorse Peeping Tom behaviour - in fact this sort of behaviour is classic stalking behaviour which often precedes a sexual attack on a woman. Last year 24 women reported sexual assaults by neighbours."

Rape Crisis says that while 90% of their clients report sexual attacks by people they know, stranger danger remains the biggest fear for women because this is the message continually represented in the mainstream media.

"We are disappointed that Levis chose to screen this commercial causing fear and distress to many people in our community. We believe they have a responsibility to try to undo some of this damage."


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