Hot topic: Is Asda's Christmas ad campaign sexist?

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It didn’t take long for the row to blow up. It started with a few tweets, and before we knew it broadsheets and glossy mags were pondering the question: is Asda’s Christmas ad sexist?

People have complained that the ad reinforces negative gender stereotypes about men (hapless, demanding) and women (principally fulfilled by domesticity). The ASA has received 33 complaints.

In response, Asda pointed to the 22,000 ‘likes’ it received on Facebook. In The Grocer office, while a couple of us highlighted the “frustrating, clichéd” characterisation and felt big companies had a responsibility to take a lead on equality, most thought the accusations of sexism nonsense: “Does anyone really expect them to be targeting dads, when mums are the huge majority of shoppers at Asda?” said one reporter.

“In our office, most thought the accusations of sexism nonsense”

Mark Dishman, acting web editor

The ad has, after all, just 60 seconds to establish its characters, and it’s hardly alone in using stereotypes to do so. You could even argue that it reflects a sexist society.

Until the world changes, then, Asda is stuck with some unpleasant publicity - and perhaps a thought about what it might do next year.

Readers' comments (5)

  • I have a straightforward solution to large companies who promote sexist gender stereotypes: simply don't shop there and buy your food from local farmers and suppliers. If everyone did this for a week these mega-companies would fold pretty soon. It's called people power: El Pueblo Unido as they say in latin america countries.

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  • Mark Dishman- In my office, most people found your comment, that the Asda advert wasn't sexist, to be nonsense and massively out of touch.

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  • Speaking as a working mum, its not sexist, its funny, true and a little bit genius.

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  • Mary,

    If you read the article, you will see that my comment was not "that the Asda advert wasn't sexist".

    It reads, "In The Grocer office, while a couple of us highlighted the "frustrating, clichéd" characterisation, and felt big companies had a responsibility to take a lead on equality, most thought the allegations of sexism nonsense."

    While an intelligent reader might be able to discern my own personal opinion from that sentence (I actually agree with you, Mary) - I was merely reflecting the fact that most people here didn't think it was sexist.

    Thanks.

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  • I was amazed by the news that there are some people who think the ad sexist. I actually thought the advert great funny, and i most certainly would find it offensive/ sexist. I think the people who always find time to make such comments want to 1 get a sense of humor 2 get a life. It is true that Mums are generally better at preparing for christmas, this is because mostly they are much better then the man at multi tasking, and i think better at organizing such events.I am sure there are some men who could rise to the occasion !, but they would still be the minority In fact i think the advert pays due respect for all a mum does in a humorous way. I really hope asda does not allow these people( who always find something to gripe about) to have the ad removed. .

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