A new brand of energy drink is making headlines in the US, where it has been accused of being an “anime” that’s been marketed to young women.
The energy drink has been widely derided for its “ladylike” female appearance, and a recent spate of internet memes depicting a young girl in a pink bikini and high heels have sparked outrage.
While the “energy” in Monster Energy is harmless, the brand’s marketing has been branded as a “pornographic product” that “disrupts normalcy”, said the Anti-Defamation League.
The company has faced backlash for its advertising of the “slut-shaming” brand on its website, in which young girls are shown dancing and drinking from a bottle of Monster Energy.
The brand also sells a series of “energy-enhancing” products that include energy drinks with an energy rating of 20 to 50 per cent.
The internet is rife with memes and videos of girls in pink bikini dancing and sharing their “energy,” according to the ADL.
Some have even gone so far as to create a Twitter account that has gained more than 1.5 million followers.
The ad campaign, which was first spotted by Buzzfeed News, is designed to target teenage girls, but the company has also marketed the product to young adults.
“The ads use a number of images of teenage girls that are often used in pornography,” the ADLC said.
“These images are not intended to represent the actual age of the women depicted in them, but are instead images of teen girls that may be used to target and intimidate young women, especially young women who are not yet sexually mature.”
According to the report, one of the memes used in the ads depicted a girl in her 20s who was also part of a “sluttiness club”.
“This image was intended to suggest that the young woman in the ad was being sexually objectified and that she was therefore an object to be sexually exploited,” the report said.
The ADL said that the internet is filled with images of “pimps and prostitutes” and that the product has been “used as a way to dehumanise teenage girls” in a “disrespectful and degrading” way.
“While Monster Energy’s slogan may suggest that it is a harmless, sexy, and lovable beverage, its promotion of these degrading images is a form of sexual harassment and is in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” the agency said.
“The company’s advertising of these images is also a form to which the ADLD has identified as an abuse of the DMCA takedown process.”
Monster Energy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.