Female Recruit Ads ‘Bizarre’





“At this point in history, I do not believe the creators of this campaign intended to offend, the fact so many understand the content was offensive is a mark of progress.  Perhaps this is a small step, but social change is often made up of incremental steps.”Jane Hall



Tacky…A new advertising campaign targeting female recruits to the NSW Police Force has been ridiculed. Source: The Sunday Telegraph

IT’S not a gun, it’s a fashion accessory: that’s the potentially dangerous message being used as part of a bizarre campaign to lure more young women to the NSW Police Force.

A police print advertising campaign urges fashion-conscious females who “want a new look” to consider trying on a career in the force for size.

A gun, capsicum spray and baton – previously believed to be the tools of law and order – are promoted as “great fashion accessories ”while the mounted police are “dressed for the races”.

In addition, an image of a young woman officer dusting for evidence at a crime scene urges potential recruits to “put your make-up skills to the test”.

In a second advertisement, a young officer is shown looking through a cupboard of blue shirts under the promise: “Never wonder what to wear”.

The campaign follows criticism of an Australian Army advertisement, which was pulled earlier this year after it depicted the modern recruit as a buxom brunette in tight-fitting uniform.

It upset members of the military’s top brass, who believed it sent an inappropriate signal to females.

But Assistant Commissioner Tony McWhirter, Human Resources, said the campaign was not inappropriate or controversial.

“This is a new and innovative recruitment campaign that highlights the fact that working as a police officer is interesting, diverse and never boring,” he said.

“Like any good campaign, we have come up with ads that grab people’s attention by being a little different.

“There are several different ads that target different markets – men and women.”

Eva Cox, a feminist commentator and academic, said the police campaign was “a bit tacky” while not demeaning to women.

“I assume they want (to recruit) people who want to take policing seriously and it doesn’t sound as though they are taking policing seriously,” she said.

“They’re trying to be trendy and funny, but I think they end up making young women feel they don’t quite understand what they are on about.”

Mr McWhirter said women made up 26 per cent of the force and the organisation was always looking at ways of increasing that figure.

Among other advertisements in the recruitment campaign is one with the heading: “Get paid to work out”, where officers on bike patrol are at “spin class”.

The campaign ads will appear in lifestyle magazines and newspapers, as well as cinemas and some gymnasiums, he said.



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