Bristol

Volleyballers' bikini bottom ads criticised by feminist

  • 12 August 2011
  • From the section Bristol
Shauna Mullin, (left) and Zara Dampney wearing bikini bottoms with matrix code
The volleyballers teamed up with a bookmaker for the advertising

The decision by Britain's top-ranked female beach volleyball team to advertise on their bikini bottoms has been criticised by a feminist.

Bath-based Zara Dampney and Shauna Mullin teamed up with a bookmaker to trial barcodes on the backs of their swimsuit bottoms in a sponsorship deal.

When the matrix barcodes are photographed with a smartphone, the user is taken to the company's website.

Sian Norris said there was still a lack of seriousness around women's sports.

The Quick Response (QR) code is part of a sponsorship deal between Dampney, 24, Mullin 26, and the betting firm Betfair.

In a statement, Betfair said: "There is huge interest in beach volleyball and we want to ensure that our advertising campaign is seen and remembered by as many sports fans as possible.

'Walking billboards'

"As far as we're aware this is the first time QR codes have been used in in-play sports advertising."

But Ms Norris, from Bristol Feminist Network, said: "I think what is really shows is that there's still a lack of seriousness taken when it comes to women's sports.

"There's the assumption that men are the spectators rather than women for a start.

"But also do we want these women to be seen as athletes or are they walking advertising billboards?

"These are big, big questions."

A Betfair spokesman declined to comment on Ms Norris's statements.

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