Pussy billboard campaign: Residents' anger at 'sexist' and 'offensive' advert in Bristol
A HUGE billboard on a gateway to Bristol has been labelled offensive and derogatory towards women.
The huge advertisement for an energy drink has in large letters Pussy, with smaller letters reading: "The drink is pure, it's your mind that has a problem."
Some say the billboard, on the junction of Stapleton Road and Easton Way as commuters leave the M32, is offensive and degrading to women while others believe it devalues an area that has worked hard to improve its image.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) confirmed to The Post that it has so far received 46 complaints relating to the company's nationwide advertising campaign and that a formal investigation had been launched.
A spokesman said people had complained that the adverts were offensive, overly sexual and derogatory towards women.
Concerns were also raised that children were able to see the billboards.
Former Lib Dem city councillor and owner of Pak Butchers Abdul Malik said the new billboard encouraged a negative perception of the area.
He said: "We have been working so hard with the traders association to tidy the street up and rebuild some respect and then this comes along.
"I'm tired of this attitude that anything goes on Stapleton Road. I'm certain an offensive advertising board like this wouldn't been put up in the centre around the Council House."
Katy Attwater, a pensioner from Victoria Park, contacted The Post to say she found the advert offensive.
"As you come into the city it's staring you in the face," Mrs Att- water said.
"The connotations of marketing a drink with the name Pussy makes the mind boggle.
"The ASA say it has had a lot of complaints and is looking into it but has told me it can take a long time and that there are no guarantees.
"As far as a Bristol goes, the city has no say in whether it wants it at all. I spoke to the council planners and police but they said it has nothing to do with them.
"Basically if the hoarding has permission they have no jurisdiction on what goes on it. The people in this area feel completely victimised. They feel like their area is a testing ground for stuff that advertisers would not dare put anywhere else."
Mrs Attwater, who campaigns for One Billion Rising – an organisation against violence towards women – added: "If it was a male equivalent, it wouldn't be allowed would it?
"There has been a lot of raising awareness of violence against women and I feel this sort of advert is in that class.
"In terms of sexism this advertising campaign is the worst I have ever seen.
"The company tries to blame our dirty minds but even if that was the case they have to put that thought in someone's mind and they don't care providing they are making loads of money."
A spokesman for the ASA said: "We can confirm that we have received 46 complaints regarding this advertising campaign.
"In general the complaints relate to the adverts being offensive, overly sexual and derogatory towards women.
"We can confirm that following the complaints the ASA has decided to and has launched a formal investigation."
A spokeswoman for Bristol City Council said the council only had responsibility for granting or rejecting planning permission for a billboard and had no jurisdiction for what was then placed on it.
A spokeswoman for Pussy said: "We respect everyone's right to complain. When you look further into the brand it is a great product with a name that makes it unique."