Furor over MANTO wardrobe malfunction

Friday, October 14, 2011

The martial arts gear company MANTO recently tweeted a picture scanned from a Polish men’s magazine of “Two girls fighting over a MANTO Tshirt!” This would be pretty usual marketing technique, but for one NSFW nipple.

MANTO quickly apologized, via facebook:

“1. The “mma themed” photoshoot was organized by one of mainstream’s men’s magazine for which we were asked to provide gear and mat space. We had no creative control over the photoshoot.

2. Our comment to the picture posted was aimed at rather unconventional “back control technique” when the model rather then locking her hands to secure the grip was more interested in holding the opponent’s breast. Admittedly, the choice of words was unfortunate and we can now see that it may and have offended number of people, for which we are genuinely SORRY. In no way we were trying to be disrespectful towards female jiu jitsu practioners or women in general. The goal was for the post to be sarcastic, not sexist.

3. Despite 95% of our range being men’s products, we have for years been sponsoring (also with cash, which not many other brands do for women competitors) multiple female athletes at both amateur and professional levels, and we will continue to do so.

To all offended once again: sorry.”

Fan comments both offended and offensive went back and forth, including one Michael Otero who offered the evolved opinion that “People especially women need to just relax! The women who were offended were probably gay women who like women anyway but yet felt threatened.”

This in turn apparently spurred MANTO distributor and part-time cave dweller Alberto Marchetti to bring God into the argument:

“I think a lot of the women who posted here made what at a glance appeared like valid statements, but at a closer look they are making a simple but crucial mistake: they are fighting against nature itself! Women are sex objects to men, just as men are sex objects to women. That’s the nature of the game, and we must thank the Great Architect for that, or none of us will be here now!”

“Women/Men are definitely more than that, but when it comes to 1+1 and simple essence of a human being the attraction towards the other sex is one of the strongest impulses next to hunger and fear of death.

“In my opinion women are portrayed in the media the way they want to be portrayed. There are publications that talk about successful business women just as there are ones that talk about the sex appeal women have on men, but then again how many women do you see buying Business Week at the news stand? They have a choice, no one is forcing them, $5 in their pockets, but which magazine will they buy to read on the plane?”

“Remember, media is a reflection of a societies’ desires, not vice versa.”

When contacted MANTO hedged its bet, throwing a bone to each side, and Machetti under the bus.

“Thank you for contacting us regarding the “controversial” photoshoot that we don’t find that controversial at all- after 5 minutes research you will find that ALL (yes, all of them) fight wear companies are using “sexy” semi-naked models in their PR (ads, hostesses at the booths and events etc) and most of men’s magazines (playboy, maxim, fhm,men’s health, ufc magazine etc etc) are producing similar photoshoots very often. Again- please remember that the photoshoot was not organized by our company- we have just provided gear and space.”

“Alberto Marchetti is MANTO distributor in the US. He didn’t have prior knowledge and wasn’t in any way involved in the photoshoot that took place in Europe, and he actually only found out about it once it was published in the magazine. In the comments he wrote regarding the photoshoot he was only representing himself not the brand MANTO, just like many other male and female commentators on our facebook page. You know our brand’s opinion on this case from the explanation we have posted.”

Read entire article…