Objectifying women’s bodies in advertising is hardly something new. However, Japanese firm Wit Inc. is taking it to a whole new level. Wit Inc. is now recruiting women to wear stickered advertisements on their thighs, literally turning these women’s legs into billboards.
Paid up to $121 per day, women are required to be over the age of 18, have a significant number of followers on social media websites, and must wear miniskirts that reveal their thighs where the advertisements are plastered. These women then have to post at least two photos of themselves on the Internet each day, with the advertised logo clearly visible, at various locations.
Of course, women choose to participate in this marketing campaign, and, as Katie McDonough of Salon states, “if the women signing up to be thighboards…are feeling good about the arrangement, then bully for them!” However, this new advertising campaign does raise some questions. The firm is not currently enlisting men to expose any skin for cash, or to plaster themselves with sticker-like ads, which begs the question – why are women only targeted for this marketing scheme? And also, why the thighs?
Using people as billboards for ads is not an entirely new move. Earlier this year, in fact, the New York Post reported two women in Queens who were charging $99 per day to allow companies to plaster their corporate logos on their faces. However, what is questionable about Wit Inc.’s campaign is its gendered and sexualized nature. But, as McDonough points out, do you really want to learn about products from someone’s leg? Wit Inc. thinks yes, if that ad is plastered on a young woman’s upper thigh peaking out from the hem of a miniskirt.