Petition Closed
Petitioning CEO, Kia Motors Lee Hyoung-keun and 2 others

Tell Kia Motors: Stop Sexualizing Children & Promoting Pedophilia to Sell Cars

The Cannes Lions Awards recently awarded their prestigious Silver Press Lion award to an advertisement that Kia Motors approved, paid for, and is distributing that promotes pedophilia and the sexualization of young girls. The ad depicts a male elementary school teacher helping a young female student after school who appears to be six or seven years old. He twists her trusting and benign schoolgirl questions into eroticized come-on lines and fantasizes about her, re-imagining her as a scantily clad teenage girl.

 

Millions of images and advertisements like Kia’s offensive ad are now exported around the world daily, intensifying the exploitation of girls and women as property and an exploitable commodity, causing increased violence against women and girls.  Recent research shows that sexualization diminishes girls’ self-esteem and mental health, decreases their academic achievement in every subject and increases sexism among boys and men.

 

Write to Kia Motors and demand that they return this award, pull this offensive ad from ALL their global campaigns and offer a real apology that acknowledges the damaging impact that pedophilia and sexualization have on children, families, and the culture.

 

Letter to
CEO, Kia Motors Lee Hyoung-keun
Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Kia Motors Michael Sprague
Director of Public Relations, Kia Motors Scott McKee
We demand that Kia Motors return your Cannes Lion Award, pull your offensive advertising campaign globally and offer a real apology that acknowledges the damaging impact that pedophilia and sexualization have on children, families, and the culture.

The Cannes Lions Awards recently awarded their prestigious Silver Press Lion award to an advertisement that Kia Motors approved, paid for, and is distributing that promotes pedophilia and the sexualization of young girls. The ad depicts a male elementary school teacher helping a young female student after school who appears to be six or seven years old. He twists her trusting and benign schoolgirl questions into eroticized come-on lines and fantasizes about her, re-imagining her as a scantily clad teenage girl.

SPARK (Sexualization Protest: Action, Resistance, Knowledge) challenges such sexualization; not only is objectifying young girls unacceptable, it intensifies a condition of violence, fueling the sense that this should be accepted as normal. Recent research demonstrates that sexualization diminishes girls’ self-esteem and mental health, decreases their academic achievement in every subject and increases sexism among boys and men. Millions of images and advertisements like Kia’s offensive ad are now exported around the world daily, intensifying the exploitation of girls and women as property and an exploitable commodity. Sexualization may also contribute to increased rates of sexual harassment and sexual violence and increased demands for child pornography.

Kia’s ad is one of the very worst and most overt examples of this unapologetic exploitation of girls, because Kia portrays them as sex objects in an especially inappropriate context--a school classroom, that should be a refuge from the constant barrage of sexualized ads and a safe haven from abusive behavior. And for what purpose? To sell a family vehicle. Perhaps the effectiveness of the “shock factor” led to kudos for “a successful award,” but the utter disregard for girls (and for school teachers) calls for criticism and protest.

We demand that Kia Motors:

*Pull this offensive ad campaign worldwide and offer a real apology that acknowledges the damaging impact that pedophilia and sexualization have on children, families, and the culture.

*Refuse to use the Brazilian Ad Agency, Moma, that created this highly offensive ad.

*Clarify the measures they’ve taken to educate their marketing staff about the damaging effects of using such imagery and messaging.

* Develop and promote an advertising campaign that actively supports strong girls and women and values them as customers.