Togo’s fast food chain has launched a new television ad, a cartoon animation featuring a sandwich that flashes two women. The women look horrified initially, and then start laughing, purportedly at the small size of the sandwich’s contents. The voice over says, “Don’t settle for puny…” and then goes on to tout their new sandwich.
“The commercial takes an edgy approach to comparing the short comings of a Breadwich to Togo’s big and meaty sandwiches,” said Renae Scott, Togo’s VP of marketing.
However, this so-called “edgy” approach is not innocuous – it trivializes the fear women feel from street harassment, including flashers (exhibitionists). Thirty percent of exhibitionists also commit acts of direct sexual violence against women. While the clay women in the commercial laughed it off, making this a humorous subject wears down many real women’s ability to object, resist, and to stand up to this form of sexual harassment.
Let Togo’s know that you object to this ad!
Visit Togo’s website to write and send an email through their online form. You can also call: (866) 708-6467. If more contact information becomes available, this will be updated.
This guest blog post is by Wendy Stock, Ph.D., a feminist psychologist in independent practice in Berkeley, CA. She specializes in treating sexual problems, Internet and pornography addiction, relationship issues, and PTSD resulting from physical and sexual trauma.
[Editor’s Note: This ad also hurts men because of the way it suggests that some men, or sandwiches in this case, are too puny to be desirable. That’s not ok.]