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Give this ad the boot

By Melinda Tankard Reist - posted Friday, 14 March 2008

On Saturday, March 8, women around the world marked International Women's Day. They called for an end to violence against women and for action to end the disproportionate suffering of women everywhere.

How did one glossy upmarket women's magazine pay its respects to women on this special day? With a murdered woman in the boot of a car of course.

Arriving on magazine stands just in time for this significant global event, Harper's Bazaar had a full-page colour advertisement which gives new meaning to violence in advertising.


The ad depicts the legs and one arm of a woman hanging lifeless from the boot of a Mercedes-Benz. Her fingers are stretched outwards, as though she'd tried to claw her way out.

She has been tied up with rope, complete with stylish bow (gift wrapping perhaps?). The company's name, Loula, appears in swirly lollypop pink.

What's the ad for?

"Women's footwear, bags and accessories".

Loula: Women's footwear, bags & accessories

Not only is Loula discounting its European designer range. It's also discounting the lives of women.


The babe-in-the-boot may have been brutally murdered but at least the hot lace-up boots survived the battering!

Perhaps Loula's executives were on a jaunt to Paris to stock up on stilettos in February 2005 and missed the story about Maria Korp. Remember the late Mrs Korp, who was strangled with a belt by her husband's lover at his urging?

For five days Maria Korp suffered in a way that doesn't bear thinking about in the boot of her Mazda 626. When police found her, she was dehydrated and brain damaged and later died.

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First published on ABC Unleashed, March 7, 2007.

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About the Author

Melinda Tankard Reist is a Canberra author, speaker, commentator and advocate with a special interest in issues affecting women and girls. Melinda is author of Giving Sorrow Words: Women's Stories of Grief after Abortion (Duffy & Snellgrove, 2000), Defiant Birth: Women Who Resist Medical Eugenics (Spinifex Press, 2006) and editor of Getting Real: Challenging the Sexualisation of Girls (Spinifex Press, 2009). Melinda is a founder of Collective Shout: for a world free of sexploitation ( Melinda blogs at

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