Okinawa cancels plan to use young women’s thighs as advertising space

Okinawa cancels plan to use young women’s thighs as advertising space

TOKYO —

The Okinawa Convention and Visitors Bureau (OCVB) along with the prefectural government have cancelled their plans to use space on women’s bare thighs for marketing the islands as a graduation trip destination to students outside the prefecture. Citing criticism, the two bodies stated, “Placing temporary tattoo-like stickers on the thighs of young women to advertise Okinawa is not in line with prefecture’s brand image.”

With “thigh advertising,” a new method of marketing gaining traction in Japan, young ladies wearing miniskirts or short shorts parade around town with promotional stickers placed on the area of exposed thigh showing between their skirt or short hem lines and knee socks — an area known in Japanese as “zettai ryoiki” or the “absolute territory”.

After the prefecture’s intentions were reported by the local Okinawa Times, government offices received numerous complaints criticizing the plan as “undignified” and “not an appropriate use of taxpayer money.” The prefecture followed up by instructing the contractor to find another approach.

When asked for a further explanation regarding the project’s cancellation, the prefecture’s tourism promotion section replied, “Though we believe it would prove to be instantaneously effective in marketing to young people, when looking at the image of the prefecture as a whole, the demerits are considerable.” The OCVB said, “As funding is coming from national government coffers, we decided it was not worth fighting those opposed.”

The OCVB was commissioned by the prefectural government to carry out part of a promotional project for spring tourism and was using lump sum subsidies provided to the prefecture by the national government. Part of the plan presented by the winning advertising agency included “thigh advertising.” A screening board consisting of four management-level personnel from the OCVB and prefectural government asked questions concerning what type of companies had employed this type of advertising to date, however, they failed to debate the pros and cons of implementing such a method.

We can imagine the brains of the screening board members were more than likely short-circuiting after viewing PowerPoint images provided by the advertising agency, and hey, as Japan’s continuing slide down the slippery slope of insolvency shows, bureaucrats here are very capable of coming up with novel ways of spending the taxpayers’ yen.

Source: Okinawa Times

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  • 1

    Tessa

    Thighvertising. Your taxes, at work.

    Is this some kind of sick joke?

    And how would anyone get close enough to the sticker to be able to read what was printed on it?

  • 12

    Ewan Huzarmy

    Just encourages chaps to fixate on the female form and perv more. Stupid idea, chickan's defense for lifting skirt, "I was trying to read the ad, honest !"

  • -8

    Elbuda Mexicano

    But why?? I hope we get these cute adverts here in Tokyo real soon! And for you ladies, and gays maybe they can put ads like this on the chest of young muscular men??

  • 0

    Yubaru

    “As funding is coming from national government coffers, we decided it was not worth fighting those opposed.”

    So if someone comes up with private funding for this venture you would have done it anyway?

  • 0

    Cortes Elijah

    Sexual orientated once again. Reminds me of how many Japanese TV shows talk about Brazil woman's tits. Why does this country seem to be fascinated by sex so much? This area between the sock and the skirt is a seductive area. Obviously trying to get perverts. What are they selling? Flings? lol.

    I hope this campaign crashes.

  • 1

    koiwaicoffee

    It would have not been half as bad if they had also though on using guys too.

    Just using girls is so sexist and lame. I can imagine the board, with just your average, suited up, middle-age men taking the decision and laughing.

  • 2

    southsakai

    Just goes to show that we have some real stupid people in power. Who comes up with these kinds of dumb dumb ideas.

  • 0

    Jan Claudius Weirauch

    Okinawa's tourist agency (OCVB), lacks motivation, common sense and the eye on how to really promote Okinawa. After all, we are lucky to not have an image like Thailand yet - Don't want the sex-tourism image here. But maybe this guys only think from 12 to noon! Firsthand experience as someone running a tourist related business here.

  • -1

    avigator

    Sounds to me more of promoting the Okinawan prostitution industry under a clever disguise.

  • 1

    FightingViking

    ...and in Okinawa ? Isn't that where there have been a couple of "sex crimes" ? Are they really trying to encourage that ?

  • 4

    Serrano

    Good decision! I don't want to see any distracting writing on women's thighs.

  • 0

    Mocheake

    Started out stupid and ended up being smart. Bravo!

  • 0

    Alphaape

    What's really disturbing is that this idea made it through a government committe that was actually discusse about. Imagine how much time and research went into the decision to bring it up. A lot of wasted effort and energy and tax money spent on useless reseach. The only way the government will save face, is to have another large anti-miltary demonstration to "jedi mind trick" the inhabitants off their incompetence and make them focus on something else.

  • 1

    Laguna

    Ah - So they're available now!

  • 4

    gaijinfo

    Why does this country seem to be fascinated by sex so much?

    Because the entire country is still stuck in JHS.

  • 2

    smithinjapan

    "NO ADVERTISING NO RAPE!!" signs should be donned by people down there -- in Okinawa, I mean. I can understand body ads -- a shaved head with a promo slapped or tattooed on (in Henna ink), washable ads on the forehead, upper arms, and what have you, but bare thighs is pushing it a little. If someone stops a young woman and says, "Excuse me, my eyes are bad... may I take a closer look at this ad of yours?" or, "Do you mind if I bend down so I can look up at the add and see it properly?" or some such remark, would she have the right to refuse or would that go against contract?

    At least it's been cancelled in this case, but I've no doubt it will be resurrected. Most amusing about this is that it was in part the prefectural government's own plan, but now they are trying to take the high-road to save face, saying it was cancelled because it is 'not in line with their image'. Pathetic.

  • 2

    gogogo

    So wrong and so right at the same time.

  • 2

    LOVEnotWAR

    If they had people dress up like ninjas, boxers or soldiers and put ads on them, no one would blink an eye. Why is violence condoned but, oh dear, attract attention to a woman's thigh? Horror! Shock! Shudder!

    I will take the sexual imagery over the violent imagery and day. I can only view those doing the opposite as having and actually encouraging mental problems.

  • 3

    Lowly

    Next they will advertise on v-neck cleavage.

  • 0

    tkoind2

    Come on Japan! Really? What idiot came up with this idea? And what sheepish idiots voted it far enough along to require cancellation?

    I mean really Japan is there no shame here anymore?

  • 1

    Tessa

    Because the entire country is still stuck in JHS.

    This has to be one of the truest things I've read about Japan in my life!

  • 3

    hoserfella

    Great Idea! That would go a long way in disproving Japan's image as a haven for sexual depravity and it's women as objects.

  • 1

    Farmboy

    Well, okay, thighs are out. How about people, male or female, with nice abs? We could call it abvertizing... And you know, even the the abs aren't so nice it might work... overweight people, for instance, would allow more text area, logos, and all...

  • 2

    oberst

    I am not staring, I am just reading the ad............................

  • 0

    realdoll

    It sounds like some "contractor" in Okinawa got the idea from what is happening in Tokyo.. but due to complaints from citizens, the prefecture shut the idea down by telling the contractor to find another idea.

  • 1

    House Atreides

    Not a very effective way of advertising. A walking billboard would garner more attention. On the other hand, I wouldn't put it past some enterprising individual to auction off their thigh to the highest bidder after reading about this. There was a man in 2005 who auctioned off the space on his forehead.

    Andrew Fischer, 20, of Omaha, who put his forehead for sale on eBay as advertising space, received $37,375 on Friday to advertise the snoring remedy, SnoreStop. Fischer will display the SnoreStop logo on his forehead for one month.

  • 0

    hidingout

    "NO ADVERTISING NO RAPE!!" signs should be donned by people down there -- in Okinawa, I mean.

    Hey Smith - its probably going to be the only time this ever happens, but I agree with every word you wrote in the post above.

  • 0

    bokuwamo

    When people buy famous labeled things, clothes, shoes, handbags, etc... they are advertising for the company that has the label showing. I think most people who buy labeled items like these are wanting people to see that they have a famous label on their item. So, lots of people are walking around advertising for free. Someone came up with the idea to charge companies for advertising space. Myself, for many years have had the thought that if I buy something with a name showing, the company should be paying me to display it.

    Regarding put the ads on women thighs, well if you walk around Okinawa now days on a hot day. On Japanese women of all ages, are displayed some pretty questionable tattoos, my opinion, for everyone to see in places that bring la lot more attention. These tattoos are a form of advertising in one way or another.

    When I was a kid, I used to go to local circuses to see the oddities that they had billed, ape man, hairy woman, etc..And there was always the tattoo woman. You paid maybe 25 cents to see her. In todays world I save 25 cents about everyday.

  • 1

    Ranger_Miffy2

    Can imagine the scene when one of this tatoo'ed upskirts saunters into a Tokyo train. Eyes avert. No advertising accomplished. Don't these ad agencies know that people can see unadorned young thighs on girls here every blasted day?

  • 0

    Simona Stanzani

    what's wrong with that? (aside from the fact that it's kinda hard to read) a nice and legal way to earn some pennies. stop being so prudish, come on.

  • -1

    herefornow

    We can imagine the brains of the screening board members were more than likely short-circuiting after viewing PowerPoint images provided by the advertising agency, and hey, as Japan’s continuing slide down the slippery slope of insolvency shows, bureaucrats here are very capable of coming up with novel ways of spending the taxpayers’ yen.

    No more needs to be said.

  • -1

    hkitagawa

    Good that they cancelled it since it may encourage man without a girlfriend to have strange behavior or even increase incidents with the military people.

  • 0

    bokuwamo

    No more be said???

    I think there is more to be said. Increase employment in Japan and America, bring back the side shows of the past. the tattoo woman and put the advertising ads on her. Help stop the slippery slope of insolvency in both countries.

  • -2

    hobart_mark

    Stupid, sexist idea. but in Japan sex sells like no where else

  • 0

    bokuwamo

    hobart_markFEB. 03, 2013 - 10:47PM JST Stupid, sexist idea. but in Japan sex sells like no where else

    You are referring to my recent post of the tattoo woman come back? The post was for a funny, regarding the subject being mentioned, Japan's economy.

    A sexist idea, what if next to the tattoo woman was the tattoo man? Would that be okay with you?

  • -1

    danalawton1@yahoo.com

    Okinawa.... the place where U.S. Military personnel commit heinous sex crimes..... a place where the bright idea of advertising on young female's thighs almost flew. Hmmmmm.

  • -1

    sillygirl

    What kind of person thought up this sick idea?

  • -1

    Shuami

    And how would anyone get close enough to the sticker to be able to read what was printed on it?

    But that's the idea, duh!

  • -1

    Shuami

    Okinawa.... the place where U.S. Military personnel commit heinous sex crimes..... a place where the bright idea of advertising on young female's thighs almost flew. Hmmmmm.

    Makes you scratch your head, doesn't it?

  • 0

    Tiger_In_The_Hermitage

    Not for Okinawa, too many military personel, it wont be safe.

  • 0

    Serrano

    I am grateful these photos can be enlarged.

  • 1

    hkitagawa

    Why they cancelled it? It would be much interesting to have a new form of advertisement.

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