'So easy to lay' flooring ad is removed over accusation of sexism by rape support charity

The Garage Floors Direct advert in Ipswich, Suffolk, which has since been removed. 
Credit: Suffolk Rape Crisis
The Garage Floors Direct advert in Ipswich, which has been removed. Credit: Suffolk Rape Crisis

A flooring company has been accused of perpetuating "the culture of rape" over a billboard advert of a woman promoting its product with the tagline "It's so easy to lay".

The Garage Floors Direct poster in Ipswich has now been taken down after complaints from the charity Suffolk Rape Crisis, which said the firm had fallen back on "archaic stereotypes".

The advert also showed a picture of a "sexualised woman in a tiny dress and high heels", the charity's said in an open letter to the company and Billboard Media, which operates the display in Bury Road.

Both firms have apologised, saying they "wholly and completely did not intend to cause offence", and the poster has been removed.

The Suffolk Rape Crisis letter said: "Adverts like yours affect how women feel about themselves, how women are treated by the police and the justice system and by wider society.

"This advert is playing into archaic stereotypes that perpetuate the culture of rape.

"Your advert supports the idea that women’s bodies are commodities to be used.

"Your billboard has been seen at the Whitehouse roundabout, Ipswich – an area very high in traffic. We have some questions. What’s easy to lay? The sexualised woman in a tiny dress and high heels? Or is the floor so easy to lay, even a woman could do it?"

In pictures taken by the charity, the advert is shown next to posters for a local tourist attraction and a private school.

The letter concludes: "We’d be very interested to know what the strategy behind this advertising campaign is, what standards have been applied to approve this advert."

A Garage Floors Direct spokesman said: "The billboard has already been taken down.

"We’ve done everything we can to rectify the situation as quickly as possible and remove the offending billboard."

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