The following post is a press release from Roxy regarding their now infamous Roxy Pro Biarritz teaser. The white text is what Roxy said. The red bits are where I’ve included further information or opinion. You can read the original here. You might want to then leave a comment on their blog. Or maybe take a shower and roll around on a mattress seductively or something.
WHAT ROXY STANDS FOR
More than 20 years ago, we set out to create a brand that would convince you our corporate entity is dedicated to supporting women and girls in their love of surfing and beyond. Since that time, we have worked to build on this heritage by developing great products, creating new competitive opportunities for female athletes, and establishing and growing the Roxy surf and snowboarding teams. We continue to work to do more to achieve this mission in spite of our recent mistakes. This is going to be tough because a brand that’s been around for 20 years should know better.
As fans and supporters of female athletes, we are disappointed by our recent mischaracterization of the Roxy brand and wanted to take this opportunity to share with our fans the true vision and voice of Roxy. Ideally when we make an ad, it would represent our brand but we thought you wouldn’t notice the Roxy Biarritz teaser was promoted to a male audience. We also hoped you would believe that commercial sexualization is empowering instead of lazy advertising as described by advertising magazines and media commentators.
First and foremost, Roxy is a company created to make money but we want you to think it has always has been about inspiring female athletes of all levels to be themselves and to participate and compete in the sports we all love. Except for when we make an advertisement that is clearly not about surfing and all about sex appeal to promote a surf competition. As part of this commitment, we have sponsored 42 Women’s ASP championship tour events since 1991 and have continuously worked to build on and enhance those efforts year on year. Roxy’s commitment doesn’t stop there. Sooner or later we’re going to have to pay equal prize money to the women and hold their events in decent conditions. We might even have to reimburse the athletes if they travel to a location and we postpone or cancel the competition.
We also work tirelessly to advance opportunities for female athletes and are proud to work with some of the world’s best and most inspiring surf and snowboarding athletes in the world. Some of the girls you see in ads are not paid for their work but we justify this by saying it is an opportunity. We are even more proud that the forum created by our events and the tremendous athleticism of the Roxy teams – and all professional female surfers and snowboarders – have helped raise the level of visibility for women’s performance sports and encouraged sports enthusiasts around the world to watch and support women’s surfing and snowboarding in increasing numbers. We could be focusing on promoting actual female participation in sport, but for now we simply want the audience and perhaps some sales for our clothing lines. We hope you notice we’re now trying to reach out to men and so that means things have to change.
We recognize that some Roxy fans, and customers, and the 20,000 people who signed the petition, and a range of newspapers and publications who published articles condemning our campaign, were concerned about an online video produced earlier this year on behalf of the brand. We wish to distance ourselves by suggesting it was placed on our behalf, even though executives from our company had to have been involved in its creation and even though we believe that using sex to sell in this fashion is benefitting us. We respect and value that feedback and remain committed to building the Roxy brand in a manner that is consistent with the expectations of Roxy’s fans (again with the ‘fans’. Um, Roxy, you’re not a celebrity are you? Or do you mean fans as in entitled to watch but not entitled to have an opinion?) and our fun, adventurous brand personality. We were just trying to have some fun, you guys.
Roxy believes in being naturally beautiful, daring and confident. Technically this is just a motto but apparently you expect us to actually deliver. We hope those qualities are conveyed in everything we do and are committed to continuing to work to earn the trust of our fans and to creating products, events and opportunities that deliver on our brand values, even though we’re using generic advertising and really those values aren’t so aspirational when you consider we’ve used them to excuse the teaser.
At Roxy, we will never stop celebrating female athletes. That’s our brand promise, and we will continue to strive to live up to that goal. So basically our ad was doing that and you should have seen that.
The Roxy Team