`Sexist' AA advert criticised

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The Independent Online
Sexist remarks to a female motorist whose car breaks down in a TV commercial for the AA led to almost 100 complaints from viewers, a report reveals today.

People objected to "the use of fear" to promote membership of the breakdown service, said the Independent Television Commission's complaints bulletin.

ITC was also concerned about "the verbal aggression and sexist remarks" in the ad.

"Many viewers saw the commercial as implicitly reinforcing a patronising view of women as less capable of dealing with motoring mishaps than men."

It shows a woman breaking down on the exit ramp of a car park and being heckled by the attendant. The problem is solved when her female passenger offers to phone the AA.

The ITV did not uphold the complaints in its December report but said the ad came close to breaking its code.