Has the CWB Gone Too Far With Its ‘Still on the Fence’ Ad?
By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
About a week ago, Farms.com was one of the first news outlets to report on the controversial ad put out by the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) that looks like one of those sexists vintage ads that you would have seen in the early 20th Century, but only it’s in the year 2013. The CWB, who has been faced with some big changes this year with the monopoly gone and on the whim of the open-market, is looking for new and creative ways to grab farmer’s attention. A new ad featured on its website that says “Still on the Fence?” which portrays an attractive cowgirl with legs exposed straddling a fence post featured under its ‘hot topics’ icon is asking farmers to “choose with confidence” to entice farmers to book some grain with the CWB’s Futures Choice Winter Pool.
I understand that their target audience is for men, but as a woman in the ag-business I am offended by this ad - it’s demeaning to women and it implies that only men are farming in the west these days. But hey, maybe I am overreacting – what are your thoughts? Is the CWB ad offensive?
The National Farmers Union (NFU) has more recently spoken out about the ad, questioning what the woman in the image has to do with selling grain. Joan Brady, who managed the women’s branch of the NFU says that the image of the women is used inappropriately. Bradly also says that the ad dismisses women who are farm mangers.
The CWB spokesperson Dayna Spiring defends the ads saying that it’s meant to be edgy and provocative. Despite the controversy, the CWB says that it plans to continue running the ad.