The Sextech startup Dame Products is continuing its activist feminist strategy. The company is suing the MTA, the operator of the New York subway, for rejecting an advertising campaign by the sextoy specialists. According to Dame, the decision represents discrimination against women.
Dame had recently taken a clear stand against the anti-abortion policy of the Trump government and, together with other companies, made a full-page statement in the New York Times.
Activism as a brand
The political activism of the Sextech startup, courted by many glamour magazines, is now entering a second round. A campaign by Dame Products had cost the startup 150,000 dollars and had been specifically developed for the New York subway system in coordination with Outfront Media, the advertising agency for advertising campaigns in the subway system of the Big Apple.
However, the campaign was rejected by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). According to the MTA, the reason for this was a recently changed policy prohibiting the display of ads that in any way contain so-called »obscene« material. Apparently, in the MTA’s understanding of things, this includes advertising for sex toys. The policy actually states: »advertisements for sex toys or devices for any gender fall within this category« is prohibited.
Litigious founders sue New York Underground
This is not the kind of thing the combative dames of Dame Products are willing to accept. The company quickly filed a claim for damages against the MTA for inadmissible restriction of »freedom speech, due process and equal protection«. In addition, Dame wants to have the MTA legally obliged to authorize and display the ads.
Dame Products also points out that in the past the MTA has already worked with companies that earn money with human sexuality. Dame emphasizes, in particular, an advertising campaign for a remedy for erectile dysfunction.
Misogynistic advertising guidelines
The aim seems to be to demonstrate a misogynistic attitude on the part of the MTA which would run counter to the notion of equality. This is one of the reasons why Dame Products also refers to previously rejected advertising campaigns of other sextoy companies like Unbound and Thinx – both companies whose products are mainly targeted towards women. A statement on the company’s website explains the case against the New York subway operator.
Feminism, Tweets and Sextoy Branding
This is accompanied by tweets on the Twitter account of Dame Products. There, the company states: »Patriarchy isn’t just in the algorithms. It’s also embedded in advertising guidelines, controlling what you see.« Dame uses the hashtag #DerailSexism and shows that the company is constantly trying to link its own advertising with social debates.
Patriarchy isn’t just in the algorithms. It’s also embedded in advertising guidelines, controlling what you see. Does that sound fair? https://t.co/CUNToZXJF7 pic.twitter.com/OF3xd1qd5D
— Dame Products (@DameProducts) June 18, 2019
To learn more, visit the Dame Products website.
Here is a video the company released about its fight against the MTA.