Stop Oil Company from Using Sex and Stereotypes to Sell Their Products

Target: Rompetrol

Goal: End the use of sexy ad campaigns to sell more gasoline

Sex sells. Advertising textbooks describe sexiness and sex as one of four useful appeals that entices consumers to buy products or brands. A new ad in Romania uses sex appeal to promote a brand of petroleum. Two things are wrong with this ad. First, it degrades women. Second, it encourages the use of more gasoline furthering environmental destruction and political turmoil.

This sexy ad cast women in french maid uniforms cleaning the inside of an engine. The women represent Rompetrol gas working inside a car’s engine. In no way does gas perform like these women; it does not parade through engines and sweep them clean. The commercial is a misrepresentation of the product and it is insulting to women.

It’s as if the days of coming home to June Cleaver vacuuming the den in heels and pearls are still not behind us. This classic sexist representation of women has been fought against ardently for decades by women across the globe who want to be recognized as more than a cooking, cleaning, and baby-making machines. It is disrespectful for Rompetrol to fund the creation of an ad that reinforces stereotypes and belittles women. The petroleum company does not respect women as equal members of society.

In addition, this ad plays on men’s stereotypical role in society. Rompetrol reinforces men’s hegemonic masculinity or cultural ideals of masculinity that is unrepresentative of most men today. The man in the commercial is portrayed as the bread winner driving an expensive car and wearing nice clothes. It is unfair to men to be cast stereotypically.

Rompetrol uses outdated advertising tactics to sell a product that is a leading cause of excess CO2 in the atmosphere, which has been attributed to causing global warming. The advertising agency that created this ad, McCann Bucharest, is almost as guilty as Rompetrol for reinforcing gender inequality and encouraging environmental degradation. But Rompetrol commissioned the creation of this ad and in the end, only Rompetrol has the power over how they sell their brand.

Stereotyping is not acceptable. Men and women deserve to be portrayed respectfully in all media. Playing on classic stereotypes to sell an environmentally damaging product is in bad taste. Sign this petition to tell Rompetrol to stop stereotyping and stop using sex appeals to sell their environmentally damaging product.


Dear Rompetrol,

You recently released an advertisement for your petroleum that uses sex appeals, which reinforce classic gender stereotypes. The portrayal of women in french maid costumes cleaning the inside of a rich man’s car engine is a cliche.

Not only do stereotypes reinforce outdated images of men and women; they also are hurtful to individuals who do not fit into normative definitions of genders. Many men and women have fought for decades to stop the use of stereotypes like this in media.  Please, stop using sex appeals to sell your CO2 producing product.


[Your Name Here]

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One Comment

  1. Primitive corporation. Wake up!!

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