Essex flooring company removes billboard sign after rape charity complaint

Flooring company Garage Floors Direct based in Station Road, Manningtree and Billboard Media were sent a letter from Suffolk Rape Crisis over the advert.

It showed a picture of a ‘sexualised woman in a tiny dress and high heels’ next to the words ‘It’s so easy to lay’.

Suffolk Rape Crisis questioned the company as to whether the advert implied the woman was easy to lay, or whether the ‘floor was so easy to lay, even a woman could do it.’

The letter goes on to state that the advert played into ‘archaic stereotypes that perpetuate the culture of rape’.

It also sates: ‘Adverts like yours’ affect how women feel about themselves, how women are treated by the police and the justice system and by wider society.

‘Your advert supports the idea that women’s bodies are commodities to be used.’

The billboard advertisement in Ipswich, Suffolk, has since been taken down, much to the delight of the Suffolk charity.

Suffolk Rape Crisis is a specialist feminist organization which works to provide free support to women who have experienced sexual violence.

A trustee for Suffolk Rape Crisis said: “We’re really pleased that it’s been taken down so swiftly.

“The fact that thousands of people have driven past it, women, men, children, police, councillors, everyone would have driven past it and not raised it is alarming in itself because it means that they’ve accepted it, which means it’s still prevalent in 2023 when that sort of thing belongs firmly in the past.

“It’s not just Garage Floors Direct who are at fault, there’s Billboard Media, there’s those that printed it, those that designed it, no one along that chain flagged it, which is also totally worrying.”

A Garage Floors Direct spokesperson said: “We didn’t intend to cause any offence, and the billboard was removed as quickly as humanly possible.”