A ranty, funny, dead-serious intersectional feminist blog.

The Standard Hotels, DuJour Media, and Violence Against Women

Trigger warning: violence against women.

TL;DR: Sign the petition.

UPDATE 8/29: Refocusing on DuJour

moore24f-1-webI have rewritten the petition letter to focus on DuJour, but have left The Standard as a recipient for now. This campaign is still getting press, and if the petition takes off,  would hate like hell for them to miss out on all the fun.

Please continue to share the petition and contact your media peeps.

Thank you for all your help and support!

UPDATE 8/28: On Fauxpologies and Small Victories

standard-downtown-los-angeles-logoIn activism, we have to choose our battles often accept small victories when we’d rather announce that we got everything we wanted the way we’d like to. In the case of The Standard, I’m pretty sure we’ve heard all we’re going to from them unless we step this campaign up in a major way. (DuJour has not responded yet; more on that in a bit.)

In under 24 hours, we got The Standard’s attention and that of several media outlets, including BuzzFeed. (UPDATE: The Daily Mail apparently also picked this up yesterday, and Business Insider and The Daily Beast both covered it today.) This post has had over 2,600 hits, and has been reblogged many times. We got people talking about an image that for many of us produced a visceral reaction and sent a message that dead women make great advertising fodder. And we got an apology from The Standard.

Now let’s talk about that apology, shall we? Because it looks a lot like other apologies we’ve seen from entities in response to criticism of the type we’ve leveled at The Standard.  I’ll break it down:

“The Standard advertisement utilized an image series created by the contemporary artist, Erwin Wurm.”

Translation: This is art, dummies. Blame the artist, not us.

This avoids responsibility for the content by branding it “art” and hopes, I think, to make us feel a little silly for making such a big deal out of it. I mean, we didn’t ask who the artist was, and the fact that it’s art is completely irrelevant. You spent exactly four sentences on this apology, The Standard. Did this really need to be one of them?

“We apologize to anyone who views this image as insensitive or promoting violence.”

Translation: We don’t see it that way, but we’re sorry you do, and if you do, it’s not really our fault.

Ok, look, I’m asking a lot here, I know, but couldn’t we get a “We’re sorry we did a bad thing?” “We’re sorry we used this image without thinking of the implications or the impact on survivors of violence?” No, we basically got “we’re sorry you were offended,” and that not only defers responsibility for the perceived “offense” onto us, the “offended,” but it declines to acknowledge that any damage occurred.

“No offense or harm was intended.”

Translation: We didn’t mean to do anything wrong, ergo, we didn’t and/or you should let us off the hook because our intentions were not evil.

Duh. You didn’t set out to cause harm to women or survivors of violence or anyone with this ad. You intended to get people’s attention and you didn’t think about what this image might actually say about your brand–what it might say to over half the population who, presumably, you’d like to attract to your hotel. You didn’t think about the harm it might cause despite your intentions, and now you’re not really admitting to any harm, just assuring us that none was intended.

“The Standard has discontinued usage of this image.”

Translation: We were done with this campaign anyway, so here’s a bone.

Yes, I’m being extremely cynical, because we should really call that line a win, dog-boney as it is. We have (as the amazing Jaclyn Friedman (Women, Action, and the Media) kindly pointed out to me yesterday) created an “opportunity cost.” We have caused this company–and anyone watching, including DuJour–to take a look at the cost vs. benefit of using ads like this in the future. That is a GOOD THING.

So yeah, this was a pretty weak apology–but it’s still a win. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

As for DuJour, they ran the ad apparently thinking it was acceptable, and so far they have not responded in any way to our petition. I would sincerely like to get a response from them saying they get it, but frankly, at the rate we’re gaining signatures on the petition, I’m not sure how long that will take or whether it will happen at all. As Jaclyn pointed out, there are many ads like this out in magazines around the country and the world, and we have to choose where to focus our energies.

Your Input Needed

What do you think, readers? Should we leave the petition up, removing The Standard so DuJour keeps getting emails when someone signs? Is it worth pushing for more signatures, more media coverage? Or is it time to call this a victory and move on to the next thing? If we had 2,000 sigs instead of under 200, this wouldn’t even be a question, but I’ve only got so much energy to spend and I want your input on this. Let me know what you think in the comments section.

UPDATE 8/27: The Standard Responds

Fewer than 24-hours after we launched our petition, The Standard posted the following response to Change.org:

“The Standard advertisement utilized an image series created by the contemporary artist, Erwin Wurm. We apologize to anyone who views this image as insensitive or promoting violence. No offense or harm was intended. The Standard has discontinued usage of this image.”

I’ll have commentary on this soon. Meanwhile, let me know what you think in the comments section below. Are you satisfied with The Standard’s apology? Have they done enough?

The Standard Hotels, DuJour Media, and Violence Against Women

Last week Daisy Eagan sent me the image below. It’s a partial of a full-page ad for The Standard Hotels in DuJour magazine’s summer issue. The ad contains no text—just this image and the hotel’s logo and a bit of fine print at the bottom.

Click for full page ad.

DuJour is a new fashion/lifestyle magazine published nationally with localized issues for major cities. The Standard is a “boutique” hotel chain with locations in New York, Miami, and L.A. The image above looks to be taken from the NYC edition (based on the small print on the facing page). Somewhere in the offices where each of these companies does business, one assumes that entire teams of people looked at this and thought it was ok. At an ad agency hired by The Standard, some bright young creative type came up with this ad* in response to the challenge to market a hotel chain to rich people, a group that must certainly include many, many women. All three of these companies made the decision to use violence against women to market a product. Apparently, this isn’t the first time The Standard has been criticized for their advertising choices. Claire Darrow, creative director for Andre Balazs Properties has said these choices amount to “surrendering our ads to art, so to speak…We want to contribute to the magazines…We don’t just want to advertise.” (Update for clarity: This piece is part of a series by Erwin Wurm called “One Minute Sculptures”)

I know I don’t have to explain to most of you why this particular ad is (no,  not “offensive”) damaging, but I really have to spend some time talking about how, like recent pieces by The Onion (more info here and here), this ad trivializes violence against women, once again using victims of said violence as bait, once again for the purpose of profiting from our pain. I need to point out for anyone not clear on the concept that by using violence against women for something as crass as attempting to lure people to your “boutique” hotel chain these companies are helping to perpetuate the cycle of violence. They are normalizing it—treating it as something trivial, not worth taking seriously. Treating it as a joke. That teaches everyone regardless of gender that violence against women is No Big Deal. These messages in our media teach women to expect violence and teach men prone to violence against women that what they do is socially acceptable. And apparently The Standard Hotels, DuJour, and the as-yet unnamed advertising agency behind this ad thought that this was the right message to send to potential customers.

Daisy blogged about this ad last week asking her readers to contact The Standard and DuJour and ask them why they think this is appropriate advertising. She had this to say about it:

Dujour magazine ran an ad in its summer issue for The Standard hotels clearly meant to warn women to steer clear of the hotel or face violence and/or death.

I’ve ordered a copy of the Miami edition which should arrive soon, and since TSH has a location in Miami, I assume the ad will be present. When it comes, I’ll update this post with a full image of the ad (now available here thanks to Daisy) and any other information I can find—hopefully including the name of the agency that designed the ad.

Take Action

We’ve started a petition to let The Standard Hotels and DuJour Media know what we think of this ad and the message they’re sending about violence against women. Please sign and share so we can get their attention (tweets have so far had no effect) and make sure they understand that ads like this are not acceptable and that they do harm.

Sign the Petition

You can also write to the parties in question directly. Thanks to Daisy for finding this information. (If you decide to do this, I’d appreciate it if you also signed and shared the petition, which goes directly to their email. Numbers matter. Thanks!)

Andre Balazs Properties
23 E. 4th Street
New York, NY 10003
email: press@standardhotel.com
Twitter: @StandardHotels

Jason Binn
Dujour Magazine
2 Park Ave, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Twitter: @JasonBinn @DuJourMedia
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dujourmedia

You can also help by alerting media folks about this campaign (especially local media if you live in NYC, Miami, or L.A.). Bad press is often what penetrates otherwise impermeable entities.

Let’s make some noise.

Press Coverage

See The Ad For The Standard Hotel Accused Of Trivializing Violence Against Women (Business Insider)

The Standard hotel is accused of ‘trivializing violence against women’ in new ad showing a woman crushed by a suitcase (Daily Mail)

The Standard Hotel’s Latest Ad “Trivializes Violence Against Women” (BuzzFeed)

The Standard Hotel Comes Under Fire For Trivializing Violence Against Women In Their Latest Ad Campaign (The Frisky)

The Standard Hotel Accused of Trivializing Violence Against Women (AdRants)

Hotel Pulls Ad of Crushed Woman (The Daily Beast)

Dear Advertisers: Violence against women is not sexy (Mamamia)

The Standard Discontinues Ad Accused of Promoting Violence Against Women (the fashion spot)

Which Luxury Brand Couldn’t Resist Using Violence Against Women In Its Ads? (the gloss)


Stop Violence Against…Everyone (Stuphblog)

Respectful discussion is welcome and encouraged. When in doubt, see the Comment Policy.

90 responses

  1. Lucy

    This image, out of its original context and out of line with the other series of images from Wurm’s ‘One Minutes Sculptures’ does appear to depict violence against women.
    The use of it in this manner does in fact suggest violence against women and so is a poor choice.
    Except, in context and in line with the other series of images, it is not encouraging violence against women. You should all look up his work where he, often comically, explores our relationship with daily objects and attempts to make us rethink our positioning in the world with these items. Its a comment on how society perceives both the models used and the items. This particular image could well be a simple visual metaphor for the consumer based culture and how it emotionally and spiritually kills us.
    Art is however, meant for an art loving audience who read visual language, and seen in a random advertisement is both shocking with a new meaning behind it and insulting to the artist.

    January 6, 2015 at 4:12 pm

  2. Pingback: The Standard Hotel Accused of Trivializing Violence Against Women - AlleyWatch

  3. TLH

    The photographer’s name is Wurm?

    It suits him.

    September 1, 2013 at 11:58 am

  4. Hmm. My gut says to keep fighting and leave the petition as-is, but my brain acknowledges that this is probably as good as it’s going to get. *sigh* Apathy is a terrible thing. Ultimately, the choice is yours in my mind, because you’re the one who has to output the energy to keep it alive. I could say I think you should leave the petition up and hope for the best, but that wouldn’t be fair because I don’t have to do any of the work. So my input is to do whatever you feel is best for you, because we both know there will be plenty more battles to fight soon enough.

    August 29, 2013 at 7:25 am

    • I’ve edited the letter to refocus on DuJour, but have left The Standard as a recipient. I don’t have the energy to make this my life’s mission, but considering the press it’s getting and the fact that some of us care that DuJour hasn’t responded, I believe it’s worth leaving it up and seeing what happens. If everyone shared the petition again or contacted media or something it might make a difference. I’m optimistic, but not overly so.

      August 29, 2013 at 10:55 am

      • I think that sounds like a fine compromise.

        August 29, 2013 at 1:29 pm

  5. Melanie

    Ugh. What a predicament. Yes, The Standard “apologized”. No, it isn’t heartfelt or appropriate, but, yeah, it’s probably the best we’re going to get. I don’t know that keeping them on the petition is going to garner anything better as far as an apology. It’s a win, but a lousy win. When it comes down to it, they are a corporation, a thing, an It.
    I’d really like to hear that they will look a little harder at future campaigns, and I would really like to hear that they are going to take a large chuck of money and give it to an organization helping victims of gender-based violence – in every city they have a hotel. With that in mind, I think they should stay on the petition. First, apology, second, penance.
    And 2600 hits, Congratulations! But what the fuck is wrong with everyone who hasn’t signed the petition. Some of us are repeat hits, but not 2600 worth.

    August 28, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    • Yeah, I definitely expected a higher conversion rate. The Daily Mail pickup hasn’t resulted in much, either.

      I see your point re: penance. Especially considering they barely apologized and didn’t even acknowledge the other two asks.

      August 28, 2013 at 12:44 pm

  6. Wow. I saw this on Outlier Collective and came over. This is terrible marketing at best, and really offensive at worst. I’ve stayed at The Standard many times, but after seeing this ad I’m completely turned off by their obvious poor judgement in this campaign. Luxury accommodations and hand-crafted cocktails are available everywhere these days. Mind your Ps and Q’s folks, eh? Thanks for calling it out.

    August 27, 2013 at 10:50 pm

  7. NeutralGenius

    “The Standard advertisement utilized an image series created by the contemporary artist, Erwin Wurm. We apologize to anyone who views this image as insensitive or promoting violence. No offense or harm was intended. The Standard has discontinued usage of this image.”

    1) It seems like by stating the artist who did the photo, The Standard is trying to put the blame on someone else. It reads like “Oh, we just used their photo. Whatever you’re getting out of it is their fault.”

    2) There has always been something that bugs me about saying “to anyone who views this image as.” Whenever it’s invoked, they’re not really focusing on who they hurt. It should be more about how they apologize to women for furthering the normalization of violence towards women.

    3) “No offense or harm was intended.” Well no shit there, Sherlock. When it comes to offending or hurting someone, though, the intent behind it doesn’t matter. This is probably just my personal preferences, but if you are going to say that explain what your intentions were and why you did what you did. It forces some reflection into the apology.

    4) Ok, that’s great that they’re discontinuing usage of the image, but how are they going to make up for the ads that have already run? And are they going to actively question their advertising in the future so something like this doesn’t happen again?

    August 27, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    • I agree with all your points. This apology is engineered to get us off their backs. More on this soon.

      August 27, 2013 at 6:02 pm

  8. Melanie

    Their apology is like giving someone an advil for a broken leg. Ineffective.

    August 27, 2013 at 2:38 pm

  9. I came very late to the party from a re-blog by the Outlier Collective. I agree with most of what has been said here – I believe this to be a sexist ad promoting violence against women. I don’t believe the hotel’s apology & I don’t think their marketing department did a very good job in choosing this image to represent their hotel at all. Even if they were trying to promote their hotel innocently (without violence against women), there are stains on the carpet! I wouldn’t stay in a hotel with such dirty surroundings! Someone had their head where the sun don’t shine when they chose this image for their hotel advertising!

    August 27, 2013 at 1:54 pm

  10. I’m glad they are discontinuing the ad and happier still that you wrote the post. No matter what anyone says, the point is to shine light on the issues and you did a bang-up job.

    Our culture has sunk insanely low and it often seems like shock value is the only way to grab attention. It’s time for us to fight back and offer something more.

    August 27, 2013 at 12:03 pm

  11. People who come to my blog to lament the time I’M wasting on issues you think are non-issues–what does that say about the way you’re spending your time?


    scully's field

    August 27, 2013 at 11:38 am

  12. peteur

    Yeah, Joanne, they should apologize and never work with a well respected contemporary artist. After that, the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, The Walker Art Center, and the Centre Pompidou, among others, need to burn Wurm’s pieces from their collections, because, you know, the artist is clearly a misogynist.

    I am utterly shocked at the amount of time people have to waste and fabricate drama where there is none…

    August 27, 2013 at 11:26 am

    • Off you fuck…

      August 27, 2013 at 11:28 am

  13. WTF???? I don’t understand how the ad even promotes a hotel. It makes no sense. Then when you ad in the silent messages the ads sends to anyone viewing it… it makes even less sense. Idiots! I signed the petition.

    August 27, 2013 at 11:23 am

    • Thanks for signing! I have no idea what message they thought they were sending with this. You’re right: It makes no sense at all that I can see.

      August 27, 2013 at 1:53 pm

  14. Stephy115

    I’m usually the first person to point out, share, voice concerns about women’s potrayal in advertisements, especially when it comes to the very real trend of trivializing violence against women. However, though poorly made this ad may be, I didn’t see it and immediately interpret or understand the message to be “this woman has been assaulted”. What’s more, I think the argument of “what if it had been a man” does definitely stand for this ad because it’s point is so nebulous.

    August 27, 2013 at 11:19 am

    • We can philosophize about “what if it had been a man,” but the fact is, it isn’t. And again, I understand that it won’t effect everyone the way it did me. This came to my attention because it made someone sick when they saw it and they passed it on to me. My feeling when I saw it was “ugh.”

      Today’s post has a bit more on why this campaign is personally important to me. But I’m not hoping to convince the world that I’m right. I just want to raise awareness and make positive change.

      August 27, 2013 at 11:27 am

  15. Le Clown

    I for one think The Standard’s apology is a step in the right direction. I did most of my career in marketing, and I have been in situation where we all get carried away with a concept without thinking of the potential impact of an ad. And I am not trying to excuse their action at all. I am also relieved to know they will be removing the ad…
    Le Clown

    August 27, 2013 at 11:15 am

    • I honestly wasn’t convinced they’d respond at all, so I agree that it’s a step. The biggest problem I have with it is the fauxpology format: we’re sorry if anyone was offended because that wasn’t our intent. They aren’t owning the damage or even acknowledging it. And that makes me sigh…

      August 27, 2013 at 11:17 am

      • Le Clown

        It reads as a generic excuse, but some actions were nonetheless taken… Like Facebook’s response to the #FBRape campaign, in hindsight… Generic, even if there was slightly more accountability whereas FB is concerned… But they do have a much larger legal/mrketing team, too…
        Le Clown

        August 27, 2013 at 11:20 am

    • They can’t remove it because this is a print mag, but they do say they won’t be using it again. I suspect they already got all the use out of it they planned to, in which case it’s pretty easy to make that “concession.” I’m…underwhelmed.

      August 27, 2013 at 11:22 am

      • Le Clown

        I’m sorry you feel this way. Nonetheless, thank you for everything you’ve done with this one…
        Le Clown

        August 27, 2013 at 11:25 am

        • The nice thing is that I can be underwhelmed at the response while still being pleasantly surprised that they responded at all. Small victories! GAD!

          August 27, 2013 at 11:33 am

          • Le Clown

            GADs of the world: UNITE!
            Le Clown

            August 27, 2013 at 11:35 am

  16. if this ad is no big deal to them … perhaps, in the interest of gender equality, we should suggest their next ad feature a guy getting his dick slammed in a door … think of the buzz! their name would be all over the globe … if it’s Art and Notoriety they’re looking for, there’s plenty of that to be had …

    August 27, 2013 at 11:12 am

    • Cole

      Oh, that’s a bit extreme, don’t you think? It’s not like the woman is having her genitalia brutalized. I think if there were to be a next ad, why not just have a man with a suitcase on him? I’m still very curious to see what the reaction would be. (Rosie, I know you said we could philosophize all day about “what if it were a man.” I understand what you mean.) But, I really think there’s a double standard here that should be addressed. A woman has a suitcase on her, it’s instantly female mistreatment. A man has a suitcase on him and it’s “Oh he probably deserved it.” Or even worse, he has his penis slammed in a door. That is a horribly, blatant show of double standard. THAT would be abuse. (Yes, ladies, men can be abused as well.)

      August 27, 2013 at 11:55 am

      • I don’t agree that we would blame the victim if it was a man. But this isn’t the way we tend to trivialize violence against men, is it? There’s a whole different flavor to violence against women in the media–it’s about a woman’s place, what a woman deserves, and we’re way more likely to blame a woman for violence done to her. We blame domestic abuse victims because they stay or don’t report or leave and go back. We blame rape victims for a whole host of reasons. And we objectify women in media all the time. It’s just a whole different set of baggage.

        I’m not for slamming anyone’s penis in a door. But I understand the extreme reactions this is provoking.

        August 27, 2013 at 12:00 pm

  17. Joanne

    At the very, VERY least The Standard needs to openly declare that they are never, ever working with Erwin Wurm again. Ever. And then they need to do some major apologizing to women. No more “we had no idea this would be offensive” but full-on take responsibility and admit they were a bunch of dickheads.

    August 27, 2013 at 11:06 am

    • That’s what is lacking for me: a sense that they actually get it and take responsibility for it being a bad idea.

      August 27, 2013 at 11:19 am

  18. Wow, that looks like a really comfortable room! Sure makes me want to stay at the hotel…

    August 27, 2013 at 10:24 am

    • Right? Comfort, elegance, sophistication–what’s not to love?

      August 27, 2013 at 10:31 am

  19. Cole

    Oh, please, don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that you are ignorant at all, but perhaps we’re all jumping the gun on trying to interpret what’s going on in the ad. Sometimes, we forget to look at something from different perspectives leading us to spew out our knee-jerk reaction instead of actually just stopping, taking a breath, and looking at the different possibilities.

    I too come from a history of family violence – so, on one hand I can understand wanting to squash anything that might seemingly promote violence. On the other hand, I’ve learned not to look at everything through the eyes of a victim and that everything or everyone in the world is evil. Because, it’s just not true.

    For this ad – in bad taste? Sure, why not? Does it scream “stay at The Standard!” to me? No. Do I immediately think “violence against women!”? Absolutely not.

    I’m sure you’ve seen this question time and again, but, what if that had been a man under the suitcase? Would anyone had said a word or would we just have turned the page in the magazine?

    August 27, 2013 at 9:39 am

    • I don’t know. In fact, I don’t know that I might not have paged right by *this* ad at one time and had the same reaction you’re having to this campaign. All I can tell you is that I sat on this for a week before I wrote about it, so this was not a knee-jerk response, and that this image speaks to me of violence. As for the rest, I feel like I made my case in my post, but do have a look at today’s post for a more personal take.

      August 27, 2013 at 9:43 am

  20. Cole

    I’m missing the part where this is violence against women. Nothing about this photo suggests violence against… well, anyone. Perhaps the message is: the woman got tired of lugging around her heavy suitcase and that she should stay at The Standard and relax. Why does it have to instantly be an issue? How can you read so much into nothing? I don’t see anyone else in the photo. No man. No other woman. No groups of people. Nothing at all that would suggest that this woman came to harm other than toting her own heavy baggage. No blood. No injuries of any kind.

    I’ve noticed that people get offended at things they don’t understand. Maybe the saying that “ignorance breeds contempt” holds a lot of truth. “I don’t understand it, so I hate it.”

    August 27, 2013 at 9:23 am

    • You know, I get that not everyone is having the same reaction to this that I am, but many people are. I don’t require agreement, but implying that we’re all ignorant and that this is all about lack of understanding–well, to me it smacks of a lack of understanding on your part of my experience and that of many other women. I’m going to refrain from calling you “ignorant” because I don’t engage people in order to insult them, but generally in order to understand them.

      August 27, 2013 at 9:30 am

  21. I don’t even get this (the ad, not your post), but I’m on board.

    August 27, 2013 at 9:07 am

  22. Somebody (actually a whole heap of bodies) slept through their Marketing101 course….

    August 27, 2013 at 5:28 am

  23. signed, shared and sighed

    August 26, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    • Sigh, indeed.

      August 27, 2013 at 7:03 am

  24. Chizzy

    Reblogged this on All The Anomalous Bits and commented:
    I really just don’t understand what that picture means. I’d have a better chance successfully writing a dissertation about quantum physics or something than try to understand what the idea is behind this picture.

    August 26, 2013 at 9:36 pm

  25. Reblogged this on One Starving Activist and commented:
    There are no words to describe why this advertisement should not make any man or woman want to stay in these properties.

    August 26, 2013 at 6:11 pm

  26. Melanie

    Reblogged this on Deliberate Donkey and commented:
    Seriously! Enough already. It’s not creative. It’s not, well, anything but wrong. Read the post. Sign the petition. Stand up against using violence against women as an advertising campaign.

    August 26, 2013 at 4:36 pm

  27. I hate to be the one who has to point this out, but the image in question is a piece of artwork by Austrian photographer Erwin Wurm. It’s from a series entitled One Minute Sculptures. It’s interesting to see it receive such a visceral response when it’s appropriated for advertising.

    August 26, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    • Thanks, but you don’t have to be the one to point it out, because I’ve already linked to an article that talks about the series and also to a full version of the image that names the artist. The fact that this piece exists outside the ad is beside the point, which is that it depicts what appears to be a dead or unconscious woman sprawled in an alley and is being used to sell a product. And yes, the response is visceral–probably in any context, but especially in this one.

      Update: For the sake of clarity, I have included a note in the text.

      August 26, 2013 at 4:39 pm

  28. Greg

    Genuine question (it’s an odd ad that doesn’t work certainly) but how do you know this is depicting violence against women? Similarly why do you assume this considering it doesn’t look like an act of violence against a woman it looks like a woman lying down with a suitcase on her.

    It looks like an attempt at slapstick/ a visual pun about struggling under all the luggage you will take. I seriously doubt it has anything to do with violence against women just a slightly confusing ad. And you’ve shown yourself to be very touchy and overreacting about an imagined slight against women.

    You should have written this may have unfortunate connotations for some women (I seriously doubt a lot of people angry now would have batted an eyelid at this if you hadn’t said it was what you claim it is repesenting), they should clarify the ad with a bit of text about what they are talking about or explaining the idea behind the ad so it’s clear what their intentions are and if it turns out it is violence towards women, fill your boots, but I doubt it would be. What you did was overact.

    I mean should we now police slapstick comedy and weird visual jokes involving women as unacceptable? If so Miranda Hart is going to be fucking worried cause she’s going to be pilloried as a vicious (self hating) misogynist.

    August 26, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    • I understand you have questions about the intent of this piece, but “you should have written”? Really?

      August 26, 2013 at 4:36 pm

  29. Thanks for writing about this.
    Petition signed. Friends informed.
    Damn! – This ad sucks! :(

    August 26, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    • It really does. Thank you.

      August 26, 2013 at 6:15 pm

  30. This just baffles me. I’m not even sure if it illustrates violence against women or what – what the ad says to me is that if I stay in one of their hotels, I might be flattened by my suitcase. Whereas what I really want out of a hotel is a nice quiet room, comfortable bed, en suite bathroom, tea making facilities…Not to be suddenly stunned by my own luggage. I can have that at home every time I open a cupboard.

    August 26, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    • It’s baffling all right. I can’t imagine what its purpose is except to get people to scan the page to find out what the hell it’s doing there and take in the hotel logo while they’re feeling all creeped out by it. As for what it illustrates, when I look at this still, sprawled form I see a dead woman–or at the very least, an unconscious one. And faceless, too, which is probably significant.

      August 26, 2013 at 2:26 pm

  31. jc

    The caption says it’s a photo by artist Erwin Wurm from 1997? The art aspirations of the journal /paper may have led to the choosing of an art image instead of a standard hotel ad. Perhaps this was the only one in whatever catalogue they looked at that had any visual connection to ‘hotel’. Or perhaps there was more to it. It would be helpful if they explained their process. Also interesting to hear the artists comment on this piece and how it is being interpreted in 2013.

    August 26, 2013 at 2:15 pm

  32. Reblogged this on The Bumble Files and commented:
    This is an important post (and petition) by Rosie from Make Me a Sammich. Please read, sign, and share. Thanks.

    August 26, 2013 at 2:15 pm

  33. What. The. Hell?

    Whoever thought this ad was a good idea needs to rehearse saying “Can I Super-size that order for you?”.


    August 26, 2013 at 2:13 pm

  34. It’s so weird – what do they expect people to think when seeing this? ‘Oh yeah, let’s go to a hotel where luggage’s just being thrown around?’ I mean, ads should promote their product, they need to show what it is and why you want it. Even if this had not been as violent adn stupid as it is, I wouldn’t understand what they were thinking.

    August 26, 2013 at 1:55 pm

  35. Already signed the petition and tweeted to Standard Hotels, and will be sharing this info. I cannot understand why anyone would think this ad is acceptable.

    August 26, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    • Thank you, Madame! <3

      August 26, 2013 at 1:40 pm

  36. Jueseppi B.

    Reblogged this on The ObamaCrat™.

    August 26, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    • Thank you!

      August 26, 2013 at 6:14 pm

      • Jueseppi B.

        This is sickening. Thank you 4 bringing to the attention of your fellow bloggers.

        August 26, 2013 at 6:19 pm

  37. Okay, so I’m NOT their demographic, but what possible allure could this add have? I don’t understand how this is suppose to make me want to stay at their boutique hotels. It’s offensive, obviously, but what could they possibly be thinking? and how on earth is it art??

    August 26, 2013 at 1:25 pm

  38. Reblogged this on idealisticrebel and commented:
    We are equal, men and women. If you don’t like it then find somewhere else to live.

    August 26, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    • Thank you!

      August 26, 2013 at 6:16 pm

  39. Pingback: The Standard Hotels, DuJour Media, and Violence Against Women | The Outlier Collective

  40. Melanie

    I hate this ad. So much. Contributing to the magazine? Like that’s a good thing? This is not contributing to anything positive, and for any entity to use that as a sound reason has no sense.

    August 26, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    • I do, too, and I still can’t believe it’s a real thing.

      August 26, 2013 at 1:22 pm

      • Melanie

        This one is off the WTF charts.

        August 26, 2013 at 1:26 pm

  41. Le Clown

    Reblogged this on The Outlier Collective and commented:
    This is an important post (and petition) by Rosie from Make Me a Sammich. Please read, share, and sign.
    Thank you,
    Le Clown

    August 26, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    • Thanks, you fabulous Clown!

      August 26, 2013 at 6:16 pm

  42. Ok. I have been a feminist since 1970. This is as bad as lynching black people. We are equal and non of the officers of this company would be here without a woman. Birth in case you didn’t understand it. I add my suggestion that you write to these companies that have been so nicely organized for us. Whether you call women sedond class, bitches, or other charming terms, you are a sexist male. You may want to make us second class citizens but we will never stop fighting back. There is more information on my blog if you are interested. Sistahs and feminist men we have to stand up and speak out!. In harmony, Barbara

    August 26, 2013 at 1:17 pm

  43. Reblogged this on Human In Recovery and commented:
    Why is it artistic or considered appropriate advertising protocol to use this kind of thing to attract people to utilize products and services?

    August 26, 2013 at 1:07 pm

  44. It appears that violence towards women is the new avant-garde. I don’t get this at all.

    August 26, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    • I don’t either. And I don’t get how anyone can look at it and not see that this is an image of a dead woman who probably didn’t get that way on her own.

      August 26, 2013 at 6:18 pm

      • I am afraid I don’t see it that way.
        What I see is a person dressed in women’s clothes under a suitcase in a room / space devoid of any furniture. The person doesn’t look dead for starters. As I try to interpret the image my first thought is a person in a room where the furniture has disappeared and the case fallen upon them. I am not certain the person is a woman. Perhaps the person has fainted under the weight of the suitcase.
        There is no sense of a violent act involving another person. There is no other person the space is profoundly empty.
        Most of all I fail to find a link between the image and the hotel. But perhaps this lack of resolution means that I will remember the hotel chain. If that’s the case then the ad worked.
        To see an act of violence with a corpse beneath a suitcase reflects surely a mindset that presumes that violence is the norm and tells us more about the viewer than the photographer or the ad agency.

        August 28, 2013 at 3:43 pm

        • It’s ok that you don’t see it that way. And you’re absolutely right–the way we interpret images has a lot to do with who we are. Given that–knowing that people who have experienced violence first hand have a visceral reaction to this image and feel that this trivializes their experience (along with many who have not experienced violence, but also see what I see in this image), why on earth does it matter that some people disagree? The harm still exists whether you acknowledge and accept it or not.

          August 28, 2013 at 4:02 pm

          • I think my concern generally is the response, not especially yours because I know nothing of you, to a plethora of images not entirely dissimilar to this is that there is an almost willful desire to see an act of violence.
            Having experienced and observed violence in a number of settings from the armed forces to working for UNHCR /ICRC in refugee camps at a level that very few people I have encountered in the civilian west have ever really experienced Yet they exhibit an overwhelming degree of anxiety about the potential for violence. For the most part in the west we are very safe and free from violence.
            It occurs to me that this anxiety is profoundly debilitating, because it imposes boundaries upon the person and confines them to the ultra secure. They may demand reassurance that they are free from even the intimation of violence but that nearly always requires the limitation of someone’s legitimate freedom to act.
            If we accept your premise that this image should be suppressed, then shouldn’t we also demand that other images are suppressed. E.g. what of all those war memorials that depict men stoically marching forward, binding their wounds, etc etc that are a profound lie and arguably set the scene for society to devalue acts of violence against men and to disregard their reactions to it. The reality of war is men screaming in the darkness as their nightmares fill their heads or hobbling back to a world that has no use for cripples.
            Violence is an abomination but if we allow our fear of it to govern our lives then we have done the bully’s work for them without them having to lift a finger.
            As for that hotel chain, simply make it known that you wouldn’t stay there and get your friends to do the same.

            August 29, 2013 at 12:19 pm

            • I’ve never once called for the image to be suppressed. I’ve pointed out that to use it in this way is crass, as well as all the other problems I believe it causes, not least that we’re so used to seeing stuff like this that many people think it’s no big deal.

              August 29, 2013 at 12:33 pm

  45. sick

    August 26, 2013 at 12:33 pm

  46. Man alive. Woman… not so much. Thanks for writing this. I’m off to share and sign.

    August 26, 2013 at 11:59 am

    • Thank you!

      August 26, 2013 at 12:00 pm

  47. I’m really struggling to understand what the intended message of this ad is. It doesn’t make any fucking sense to me. Even if it were a dude crushed under the suitcase, I don’t get it. The Standard is so awesome you’ll throw your luggage out the window so you can frolic naked? You’ll want to stay for so long you’ll be flattened under the density of of your bags? What am I missing here? It’s offensive AND bewilderingly stupid.

    August 26, 2013 at 11:57 am

    • The property company’s creative director apparently thinks she’s contributing to quality magazine content with this shit. Not enough nope in the world.

      August 26, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    • I was wondering the same thing. From a strictly consumerist viewpoint, all I get from this is that the bellhops are fucking terrible and whoever would take a picture instead of coming to this woman’s assistance is a dick. Plus where are all the employees to help with woman up? Bah to this garbage! Thanks Rosie.

      August 26, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    • That’s what I kept asking myself for days before I wrote this: What am I missing? But nothing I’ve learned so far explains this in any way.

      August 26, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    • Joanne

      Yes!! I do not get the message of this other than: crush a woman to death under a suitcase. What on earth does that have to do with a hotel?

      August 27, 2013 at 11:04 am

Chime in:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s