Advertising is everywhere in modern society. From TV, magazines and billboards to the internet, back of bus tickets or someone’s forehead! Put simply, wherever potential customers look, marketers will stick an advert.
Therefore I was interested in the recent story, and criticism, about Britain’s top-ranked female beach volleyball team selling advertising space on the back of their bikini bottoms.
Betfair, the world’s largest Internet betting exchange, has apparently paid £10k to advertise a barcode which, when photographed with a smartphone, takes the user to the company’s website.
In reaction to this Sian Norris of the Bristol Feminist Network commented: “Do we want these women to be seen as athletes or are they walking advertising billboards?
I find this comment stupid at best. Money makes the world go round. Period.
Take a look at almost every sport you can think of and you’ll see advertising in all kinds of places – and most of these sports people probably don’t need the money half as much as our beach volleyball team.
For example you can stick your advert on:
- The breeches and boots of jockeys.
- Waistcoats worn by snooker players.
- Anti-glare strips worn under the eyes of cricketers
In fact when my good friend Kelvin Eatherington was marketing manager of a law firm in Barnsley, he turned-down the opportunity of advertising on the back of Barnsley Football Club’s shorts for the FA Cup semi-final match against Cardiff City at Wembley. Given the amount of publicity this gave CK Beckett, the firm that eventually did buy the ad space, he’s regretted it ever since.
A quick look online also shows tons of advertising all over bikinis worn by female volleyball players for brands including Nivea, Visa and Gillette – not to mention branding for the manufacturers like Speedo, Nike and others.
This is a great PR stunt for Betfair and their marketing team. I guess their £10k investment for the advertising space has been paid back 10-fold by the public relations coverage they have gained!
For me the real problem here is not sticking advertising in places where people look, it’s encouraging people to take photos of woman’s arses!