An advertisement for a $450-a-head cricket tournament on the Gold Coast has been slammed as “cheap” and “degrading” to women.
An ad for the event features former Australian Test cricketer Mike Whitney in his baggy green alongside two bikini-clad women promoting a cricket “carnival” on the Gold Coast.
While critics said the advertisement exploits women and shamelessly uses sex to sell the event, promoters disputed the claims, saying they have daughters who found the controversy “funny”.
“Come meet the girls as they’ll be at the airport to greet you, in the GC6s Chill Zone Bar at the grounds, at the night events, and at the airport to see you off on the Monday. Icing on the cake eh lads?” the tournament website reads.
In the advertisement, Mr Whitney, 57, says: “This is not just a cricket tournament – it’s a three-day, four-night carnival held up here on the Gold Coast.
“I’ll be here, the girls will be here and we’re looking forward to welcoming you,” he said, prompting the two near-naked models beside him to wave to the camera.
After Mr Whitney, who played 12 Tests and 38 one-dayers for Australia, finishes with the pitch that Australians who are “sick of winter” should flee to the Gold Coast for the warm weather, the women get their turn.
“Hi boys, we girls are so looking forward to meeting and greeting you here on the Gold Coast,” one of the models says.
The furore is a reminder of the controversy that erupted in January when Melbourne Renegades batsman Chris Gayle propositioned reporter Mel McLaughlin live on television.
Watch the cringeworthy advertisement below:
On Facebook, Adele Kristy posted: “I think the ad is cheap and tacky regardless.”
Amy Peters wrote: “Classy … not. Seriously this ad puts us back about 20 years.
“Enjoy the fun?! lol … What is fun about this ad?! It just makes the women look like idiots standing there next to Mike Whitney.
“You both can do a lot better than degrading yourselves to be associated with this type of advertising. I’m embarrassed for you.”
It’s not the first time the Gold Coast Sixes has used gratuitous shots of women to spruik its tournament:
There are numerous similar examples throughout its promotion.
But not everyone was outraged at the video.
Maddy Vlahos wrote on Facebook: “Everything offends someone these days. Get real people, there are more serious things happening to people as we speak.”
One man, Grae Crooks, agreed: “When did the female body become so offensive to people? When did bikinis become so offensive to people?”
The New Daily contacted the organisers of the tournament to get their response to the controversy, but they did not respond to calls.
However, responding to criticism on a Facebook post one of the event’s promoters wrote: “Just read the above and can’t stop giggling!
“Between us promoters we have 12 daughters, and all of them think this Facebook trail funny.
“Of the 12, 10 are going into medicine and the other two into law … horrible fathers aren’t we!!!”
The Chris Gayle sexism controversy from early this year, when the West Indian quipped “don’t blush baby” to a female presenter, divided the nation.
Many supported his assertion that it was only a joke and not meant to offend, while others were furious a woman could be subjected to such treatment in a professional setting in 2016.
Gayle was fined $10,000 by his team.