Make sure your PR campaings aren't sexist
I recently received a press release from an online gift card retailer about an ad they’d created, of which they were clearly very proud. “This devastating problem has gone on for far too long,” said the ad’s voiceover. “We couldn’t stand by in silence.” It then went on to highlight the heinous crime of “gift-typing”, a practice which sees people being given the same presents every Christmas by unimaginative gifters. The solution? Buy their gift card instead.
Apart from the fact that, arguably, a gift card is even less imaginative than a pair of socks, the campaign had other issues. The voiceover on the ad was male, as was the recipient in the video, leading some journalists promptly to accuse it of being sexist. Soon, it was being shared on social media, with users pointing out that in most families, it’s women who are charged with dreaming up and buying the vast bulk of the Christmas presents. Rather than complaining about their lack of originality, maybe men could contribute to this festive dollop of unpaid emotional labour, and share the load.
In 2021, it’s more important than ever that all campaigns are cross-checked for sexism. The humour of this one might have been well intentioned, but it failed to take into account current sensitivities over gender inequality, already heightened after lockdown. When is a Christmas ad not a successful Christmas ad? When it’s sexist.
What Laura Thinks…
This is just so off-the-wall insane that I just had to sit up and take notice!