Thanks to my Aotearoan contact for alerting me to the latest moral outrage that has apparently broken out in the land of the hobbits. Seems Air New Zealand have put a few noses out of joint with their latest advertising promotion. This is centred round the theme of “cougars”. They are, for anyone not down with the groove, women over 40 who sexually pursue younger men. Add ten years and it sounds like a typical Sunday night in Bury-so I’m told.
Anyway, Air NZ are running a competition for women aged 35+ who “prefer their meat rare”. By sending in a picture of themselves out on the town with their “cub”, they stand to win a free flight and tickets to next month's Wellington Sevens rugby tournament. Naturally I’m appalled and sickened by the whole thing. But if there is a wrinkly out there (with her own teeth) who fancies a chance of a break in the Land of the Long White Cloud...
What has really divided opinion is the TV advert that accompanies the campaign. Several women’s rights groups have called for it to be banned, whilst others have defended it and the debate has now spread to these shores.
Kim McGregor, director of New Zealand's Rape Prevention Education, has gone even further with her criticism and said that not only is the advert sexist, but it is degrading to men. She claims that males who have been raped by women are complaining about the ad and are "very distressed that their situation is being laughed at". I’m sure the great Michael Winner would say: “Calm down, dear. It’s only an advert”. But, gentle reader, I will leave the final judgement to you.