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.

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