Women’s rights organizations yesterday accused a local dairy product manufacturer of misleading young girls by depicting “ample bosoms” as a prerequisite for prettiness in its recent green papaya yogurt television commercial.
The Taiwan Women’s Link (TWL) and the Taipei Association for the Promotion of Women’s Rights (TAPWR) made the accusations at a press conference in Taipei yesterday morning, during which they showed the 30-second television commercial featuring what appears to be a five-year-old girl asking an attractive, well-proportioned teenager to reveal her beauty secrets.
The TV commercial then shows a close-up of the young woman’s breasts before she takes out a cup of yogurt and tells the child: “As long as you eat one of these every day, you will grow up to be just as beautiful as I am.”
“In the past, we have seen too many car, computer and food commercials using women as a marketing tool, but at least their advertising models and target audiences are grown people,” TWL director-general Huang Shu-ying (黃淑英) told the press conference.
“However, it is apparent that the yogurt commercial primarily targets young children and seeks to instill the notion that large breasts are something every girl should aspire to. We strongly deplore the company’s advertising strategy, which pursues profit at the expense of children’s rights to develop a healthy sense of self-worth,” Huang said.
TAPWR standing director Chien Shu-pei (簡舒培) said the content of the commercial clearly violated the Satellite Broadcasting Act (衛星廣播電視法), which prohibits TV broadcast content containing information that impairs the physical and mental health of children and juveniles and carries a fine ranging from NT$100,000 to NT$1 million (US$3,300 to US$33,000).
“As the commercial also insinuates that its papaya-flavored yogurt has the effect of enhancing breast size, it constitutes a violation of Article 28 of the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation (食品安全衛生管理法) that stipulates that the labeling, promotion or advertisements of foods should not be false, exaggerated or misleading,” Chien said.
Chien added that there was no evidence for green papaya’s rumored efficacy in breast augmentation.
The organizations issued three demands: that the dairy company stop airing the commercial immediately; that the National Communications Commission and the Ministry of Health and Welfare investigate and handle the matter in accordance with the law; and that the government make a concerted effort to crack down on TV programs and commercials containing content detrimental to children’s physical and psychological well-being.