Ultra Tune to appeal the ban of its ‘sexist’ advertisement

Ultra Tune will appeal the decision to ban its new advert that allegedly vilifies women.

Okay, so this probably won’t make me any friends, but have you seen the Ultra Tune advert that has recently been banned for vilifying women?

Ultra Tune is seeking an independent review of the decision by the Advertising Standards Board to ban the ad from the internet and television – and rightly so, in my opinion.

The ad features two scantily clad women driving a convertible along the road, until the car breaks down and comes to a standstill across a railway track. Cue the clichéd loud horn of an oncoming train, the screams of the women who face imminent death, then the ensuing fade to black accompanying the sound of an explosion. The image returns with the two women triumphantly walking away from the wreckage a la Charlie Angels heroines …

Sexist? Maybe a little bit. But enough to warrant a ban? Surely not. Now, I’m a very un-sexist type of guy, which is obviously the first thing a sexist will say. Those who know me, know that I am all for the rights of women, but I also have a sense of humour. I just needed to get that out of the way before I launch into my diatribe.

Come on. The Australia Day lamb advert was more ridiculous and somewhat more offensive to vegans. The old American Express “Ah Mr Wong, I’ve lost all my travellers cheques” was surely a tad un-PC, but did that get banned? No. Or how about the Dorito’s advert recently aired at the 2016 Super Bowl: could a case for promoting child abuse be made for that one? Or the wrongful representation of expecting fathers? Are we just looking for a reason to complain?

The Ultra Tune advert has received complaints for being “disrespectful and degrading to women” and for portraying women as sex objects in a “bimbo” manner. Am I missing something? Am I watching the same ad? Sheez. On that rationale, no advertisements should feature questionably attractive ladies wearing clothes readily available at any Kmart or Cue store. And if they wear make up and muss up their hair a little? Oh my, just call in the armed forces.

There have been complaints that the ad makes the women appear unintelligent, but you can bet your bottom dollar that, with exactly the same script and message, and a pair of handsome male leads taking the place of the female stars, this ad would be running right now with no complaints. Bimbos? Really? All Ultra Tune is saying is “get your car serviced to avoid unexpected situations” such as your car breaking down across a railway track.

And how is it being any more disrespectful to women than the lamb advert was to vegans? The lamb ad definitely did have a crack at vegans, but it was still kind of funny, and was decreed inoffensive and allowed to run. I have to ask, though: what if it was a scantily clad vegan female instead of the bearded hippy fellow? Well, once again, cue the armed forces. 

I don’t watch a lot of television, so I don’t see a lot of adverts, but, from what I can gather, the grounds for banning the Ultra Tune advert seem to be completely ridiculous. All I see is an action film–styled commercial featuring a pair of strong, sexy heroines who won’t even let a train wreck stop them from their mission. I must say that anyone who sees this as disrespectful, must take a long, hard look for their sense of humour.

And besides, surely there are more pressing issues that require our attention.

Do you think this ad is sexist? Why? Do you think it deserves to be banned? What would you do to tone it down? Are we becoming a humourless society?


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    25th Feb 2016
    Still really don't get the connection between sex and car servicing. But, the women don't come out pathetic, in fact they come out strong, so I didn't think the ad was particularly sexist - just tacky. I won't go into the whole body image thing, but that argument is never going to be won in the advertising world!
    BUT it's not the same as lamb ads for vegans. You appear to have missed the whole point about centuries of discrimination for being female.
    25th Feb 2016
    Perhaps Adam could explain to you that sex just doesn't have to involve having a baby or eating apples lol. If you could only see the world through the eyes of a man.
    25th Feb 2016
    Hey there Eve,
    Thanks for your comment, I'm glad I'm not imagining things. And yes, I'm not trying to compare the plight of vegans to that of women, just saying that I don't think the Ultra Tune ad was any more offensive to women than the lamb ad was to vegans. I don't really think either ad is offensive, they're both kind of funny.
    25th Feb 2016
    Hi Leon. Just wanted to get something rational out there before all the really angry ones get going! As for Boomah52, no, I'll never get what beautiful women have to do with car servicing. And for this, I should probably be glad I don't see the world through the eyes of a man lol.
    25th Feb 2016
    That's because car servicing isn't something a lot of women think about. Put petrol in car and drive is about the limit for a lot. The ad in a not so subtle manner depicts what can happen when servicing on a vehicle is ignored. There can't be any argument that most females have a different attitude towards cars than males.
    25th Feb 2016
    I have not seen the ad Leon but this sounds like the one sided feminist response we have all come to expect. So how many adds show men as being stupid or inept? Yes....heaps. It's a growth industry.
    I quite frankly am getting a bit sick and tired of the fairer sex who are constantly demanding public money to be thrown at their illnesses whilst men get zip, constantly complaining about their pay and super when they flit in and out of the workforce (generalisation!), monopolise some jobs (TV presenters, teaching, nursing, etc.) whilst complaining about not getting a fair go and of course routinely complain about sexism which only applies to men, not women.
    I have the utmost respect for women and only wish that the same would be true from the opposite sex rather than the constant bitching about being discriminated against.
    Got that one off my chest. Thanks Leon. I know when I am set up....where's the smilies?
    25th Feb 2016
    Aah, mick! You're setting yourself up here! And yes, there are many ads that depict men as dopey and useless. There seems to sometimes be a 'flexible' line drawn with regards to what is okay and what is not. At the end of the day, we all need to lighten up me thinks!
    25th Feb 2016
    25th Feb 2016
    Hi Mick, just a thought, if you were given the choice to be born again, my betting is you would choose to be a male. I know I am steering away from the subject, but take it easy on the females.
    28th Feb 2016
    I agree. We heard so much about misogyny from Julia Gillard, so another handy label comes into place which can be attached to anyone whose arguments cannot be defeated by logic.
    Already, if you think that white people are not inferior to non-whites, you are a racist.
    If you are unhappy about paying halal taxes and concerned about the introduction of sharia law into Australia, you are an Islamophobe.
    Now, if you fail to acknowledge the superiority of women, you are a misogynist.
    But Julia overlooked one important detail when she launched the misogyny label which is so precious to the radical feminists. Women who hate men are also misogynists.
    25th Feb 2016
    No fun here any more and as Australia is a leader in the obesity race men will just have to look elsewhere lol
    25th Feb 2016
    Just dialled the add. What a lot of crock.
    The only man in the video looked pretty dopey. A lot of hot air about nothing. Welcome to women's liberation and the demented nonsense which goes through the heads of these creatures.
    25th Feb 2016
    Which ad did you look at Mick? No males in the ad that this discussion is about. Don't know how you are accessing the site but if you're on a desktop or laptop, the ad is embedded about halfway into the article.
    25th Feb 2016
    Can anyone explain what exactly is wrong with the add. I don't see an issue but I'm happy to be educated.
    25th Feb 2016
    Sorry Saltbush but no, no-one would be able to do that, not without telling a few porkies and exagerating quite a bit.

    25th Feb 2016
    This organizations is a franchise or co-operative, so is run independently, and should not be judged as a whole for the transgressions of a few of it's operatives, or their head office. The ads are done by an ad agency which are sometimes a bit off-the-wall, like the one which does Red Bull. Ultra Tune, itself, has been on Current Affair-type programs for charging patrons for services not performed, but then, a lot of business do that, unfortunately. The ad in question I haven't seen on TV, so cannot comment upon, one way or another, BUT there are a LOT of ads where the MALE is mad to look like the clown, cretin, arse, dumbie, etc more often than the female. So I think one has to put this topic of "degradation" into perspective. If you REALLY have something to complain about it should be the GOVERNMENT - they are trying to degrade, offend, and impoverish US ALL!
    25th Feb 2016
    I agree Fast Eddie. When I read 'Clown, cretin, arse, dummie' I immediately thought of that most stupid of adverts, that American crap for Specsavers. That would have to be not only the most stupid, but MOST ANNOYING. Why do we have to put up with American crap; cant they afford to make an advert here in Australia, for Australians with a little more intelligence than the Americans. That is the advert that needs to be banned from our screens. I think the Autotune ad is a bit silly but I don't find it that offensive; yeah Charlie's Angels stuff !
    25th Feb 2016
    Yes, FrankC, it's much the same with the BMW and Audi ads and the cars going down the right hand side of the road. If asked why you would probably be answered with that "economies of scale" crap.
    25th Feb 2016
    FrankC you won't get any ads for Specsavers made in Australia. They do nothing here other than take peoples money off them. They are a company which originated in Guernsey (British Isles) and have expanded to here. Last I heard they were like Ikea, not paying one cent in tax here. All their ads are made in the U.K.
    25th Feb 2016
    I'll bet that whoever made the complaint was overweight, ugly and jealous. Get over it! Some women do act that, its called light entertainment if its on TV.

    If you think its sexist, then start patrolling the streets and modify peoples behaviour.

    Thank you for reading my anti PC opinion.
    25th Feb 2016
    TV advertising is a dying business and internet advertising is something we all try to avoid. Many, like myself, increasingly record and fast forward so most ads are just a blur. Based on the amount of pop-up garbage on my laptop screen (including this website) I also wonder how the ASB can effectively "ban" anything on the net. Bah, humbug!
    25th Feb 2016
    I believe the women are made to look like bimbos while they are parked (broken down) on the railway line. Any thinking person/s would immediately get out of the vehicle and remove valuables. the contrast between the bimbo image and the strong image of the women walking away is remarkable, unrealistic and ridiculous. Had the women got out of the vehicle and stood away from the railway line the ad would have made more sense. I see nothing wrong with the women walking away and how they are dressed. Most women these days are very in tune and knowledgeable about their vehicles.
    25th Feb 2016
    Mick and Fast Eddie, do you ever laugh or smile about anything??

    As a woman, I find the "pumped up" lips (especially the blonde) to be the most offensive part of the advert.
    I personally love the ad on TV at the moment with the "tradie" pushing the mens underpants, at my age I should have more sense, however I cannot see it enough!!!
    25th Feb 2016
    Sorry if I bite a bit. The YLC team might be getting a giggle. The issue I have is the double standards, not the add. I watched the add and thought it was not more offensive than the (frequent) 'dumb blokes' adds. Men seem to not get offended when they are stereotyped but women seem to (generalisation gals!).
    I sort of agree with Leon. We ALL need to lighten up. After all Australia is known around the globe for fun banter.
    25th Feb 2016
    Dizzy, by your name and comment about the guy's drawers and not being able to get enough of them you must be a female, and probably a frustrated (and blonde) one, at that. Seeing that there is no video of commentors or audio to their responses you wouldn't possibly know whether I, or mick, smile or laugh. I can't speak for mick, but I can assure you that I do both, and very often as I am in an enviable, self-acquired position to do both. Your few words elicit both of these responses due to the idiocy of the question and the words "'pumped up' lips", possibly referring to Botox injections. Keep smilin, old girl, and be careful of that vertigo.

    - "Smilin' and "a-laughin" Fast Eddie.
    25th Feb 2016
    Ok ban all female models from working because they are being female and flaunting female stuff.lets have a few guys advertising tampons instead.women are becoming too politically correct.it could blow up in everyone's face.get a life you old ugly complaining divorcees.
    25th Feb 2016
    With doing these Tampon ads are there any strings attached?
    25th Feb 2016
    Wow Leon. Look what you let loose. Between Fast Eddie "you must be a female, and probably a frustrated (and blonde) one, at that" and "..get a life you old ugly complaining divorcees", no debate has been achieved. This is just abuse and shame on you two.

    I'm mostly with Mick. I don't especially like the dumbing down of either sex with male or female bimbos - but it's now done to both sexes. It might not be the equality we want, but it is largely equal. Now if you want to start complaining about **&^%%^ advertising.......
    25th Feb 2016
    Eve(n), if you "give it" you have to be prepared to "take it". There are two (maybe three) genders living on this planet. "Man Up" or "woman up", old girl.
    - "Smilin'" Fast Eddie.
    25th Feb 2016
    And yet FE, Dizzy wasn't 'giving' you anything. She was trying to say she's pretty unconcerned about sexism in adverts. And for that she's a 'frustrated blonde'.
    25th Feb 2016
    Lighten up. You're getting them in a knot. "Don't worry, be happy"!
    25th Feb 2016
    Hairy, for your information I'm a beautiful woman and never divorced. I don't like the UltraTune ad because it depicts beautiful women as being too dumb to remember to put petrol in their car. I've never run out of petrol. So it turns out the ad is about not tuning your car regularly, but I'd stopped looking and listening well before the end of the ad.
    I'd like to see all ads banned because they're an insult to everyone's intelligence, at some level.
    Shame on you blokes who just don't get it - discrimination over centuries is a serious matter.
    It's like a white person saying "I'm not racist" and telling black people to just "lighten up and get over it". Throw away those white KKK hoods now and wake up to yourselves. The contempt for women and misogyny shown here by some posters is really quite vicious.
    Boomah52, there are as many obese men as obese women. Do you suggest women look overseas for potential thinner partners? You're obviously only looking through men's eyes yet again.
    And Gra, I've changed oil filters, brakes & pads, suspension springs, removed motors and gear boxes from (old) cars and replaced rods, cylinders, gaskets, rings and cracked heads. Back then, I had little money and plenty of time. These days, I let the experts get down and dirty with it (not Ultra Tune).
    25th Feb 2016
    I love the doritos add. I love the Lamb add. As to females being portrayed as dumb when compared to men... what a load of twaddle. Our house full of men with one wife&mum disprove that every day - just ask her.
    What about the idiot car adds such as the couple foisting the kids onto another while they go and party and the car is deemed responsible (that's n'cause the mum & dad are irresponsible).
    25th Feb 2016
    It is a sad reflection of hyprocisy today. What I saw was an commercial, clearly acted and little different than the content of many movies shown on TV.
    The biggest problem we see is manipulation of Political Correctness by persons completely unable to manage their own lives so they want to manage others with pathetic criticism of meaningless commercial advertising.
    There are many ads on TV which show show men unable to cope with issues they probably manage daily, picture perfect mothers who clearly spend hours applying make up before feeding children healthy food in clinically clean kitchens, unbelievably perfect family units......for goodness sake, it it advertising. Listen to some of the absolute rubbish the daytime info-mercials spew out.....same woman expounding pillows, cooking appliances, exercise machines....all with suggestions she has all of them....yeah right!
    Ban Ultra tune, then you need to put honesty into other advertising
    25th Feb 2016
    "Outta Tune".
    25th Feb 2016
    Well we all know the whingers have to have something to whinge about and it doesn't have to anything really worthwhile, just like the misery guts who complained about the dog saying "Bugger" in the Toyota ads years ago or the young bloke saying "Bloody caravaners" recently. Neither were offensive really - unless your skin was so thin you could see through it.
    red 1
    25th Feb 2016
    Sexist? really? To me the women come out of the situation on a winning note. How ever both girls seem to a little bit too much lip filler.
    26th Feb 2016
    I do not get the connection between two women breaking down on a train track and UltraTune.
    I do not find it sexist. There are a lot worse adverts on TV that should be banned. Especially the one that shows children acting drunk and having to drive home as it is just around the corner. This one really grates on my nerves that they should use children in this way.
    26th Feb 2016
    Must admit I said that as soon as I saw it & every time after. Trying to see woman as equals is hard enough without this rubbish.
    26th Feb 2016
    Really Leon?! 'A Little Bit Sexest, Maybe?' is ok??
    Funny? Mildly - if you're a sexist guy.
    Not much if you're a (blond) female.
    I'm sooooo OVER these types of adverts, 100%.

    Sexism stops being funny after a short while. As does gender, ageism, etc. Constantly being portrayed as bimbos gets tired. Yes, it's the Aussie Bloke who responds to these adds, and that's VERY telling.
    Funnily enough there are more females graduating high school these days than males. And it might be interesting to look at the statistics of the ratio of uni students. Higher echelon jobs is gradually changing too.

    So UltraTune lift your game and get with the times! And you boring mysoginistic males who support it.
    Chris B T
    26th Feb 2016
    At least the women had the sense enough to get out of the car, before the train crash (LOL).
    They still looked great, even though the car didn't (crash & flames). Sexist maybe, stupid yes and getting a point across about servicing maybe. Remembering the add yes, a nice looking car as well (preferr car). LOL ;-(0)

    28th Feb 2016
    No problem with this ad, makes a nice change from some so called 'proper' woman squawking on about some mundane rubbish eg: (Jo Silvani for chemist warehouse) yawn!
    I did not like the lamb commercial which basically involves the killing of a sentient animal to celebrate another mundane occasion
    1st Mar 2016
    Surely not a ban! Someone is really over sensitive...just put a couple of male actors in there...problem solved? Or is the complaint coming from another direction based solely on how they are dressed? Get a life!
    15th May 2018
    Australia's mainstream is run by male hating Feminsts! All the TV and radio shows have a Feminist (muscular) and a weak man (feminine). They keep running the 'Stop Domestic Violence against Women," even tho it's 50/50 in Australia. If a women hits a man, nothing would happen compare to man would receive jail time! The hate towards men 24/7 is acceptable by most people in Australia where they act like it's a normal thing.

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