Morrisons and Barclaycard ads spark 'sexist' complaints

Morrisons and Barclaycard have become the latest brands to be accused of “sexism” in their Christmas ad campaigns.

Morrisons Christmas ad features a comedy Christmas ‘turkey wrestle’.

The Morrisons ad features a disgruntled mother character preparing for Christmas and the “comedy moments” that go with it, which the supermarket says is a departure from ads that show the “usual cliché of a perfect day”.

The ASA has received three complaints about the ad, which allege the spot is sexist because it suggests the mother is responsible for doing everything at Christmas.

Barclaycard’s ad meanwhile features a confused-looking father character receiving help to buy a Christmas present for his child from a number of of animated toys.

It has sparked a complaint that the ad encourages gender stereotyping, particularly when the stuffed monkey character - voiced by actor James Corden - says to a Barbie doll: “on your bike dolly, it’s for his son”.

Barclaycard declined to comment. Morrisons did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.

In both cases the ASA has not yet decided whether to launch a formal investigation into the ads.

The ASA is, however, set to probe Asda’s Christmas ad, which has sparked 186 complaints since its launch earlier this month and has been subject to a social media and campaign group backlash - particularly from Fathers4Justice.

Complainants have argued the “Behind every great Christmas there’s mum and behind every great Christmas there’s Asda” is sexist and reinforces negative gender stereotypes.

Elsewhere, Boots’ Christmas ad has also been the subject of complaints to the advertising regulator after viewers objected to a child blowdrying a dog in the spot.


Readers' comments (6)

  • particularly when the stuffed monkey character - voiced by actor James Corden - says to a Barbie doll: “on your bike dolly, it’s for his son”.

    So it's ok to buy boys a barbie? Really?
    Or are they upset 'cause they didn't say "it's for his daughter" - again. Really?

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  • I think on a scale of 1 to 10 these are pretty innocuous. What I can't understand is how some brands get away with eye-poppingly blatant sexism.

    I'm thinking of the yogurt advert where a reclining Amanda Holden uses a semi-naked man for a footrest. Or the greetings card ad that ends with the voiceover woman persuading a man to take his top off. Or the Maltesers ad where two women re-arrange their sleeping boyfriends so they're basically sexually assaulting each other.

    Yes, it's sexism against men, but you can imagine the outrage if it was the other way round - and rightly so.

    So why don't we read stories or features in Marketing Week about this growing phenomenon? Is that an indication that somehow the industry sees this kind of thing as the acceptable face of gender discrimination?

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  • I am starting to despair at the general population. Everyone has to be outraged by SOMETHING - normally something very unimportant - and the likes of Twitter give these fools a vehicle to talk about it.

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  • yeah the outrage is at the implication that boys can't like Barbies, because it reinforces for any boys who do like Barbies who are watching that there is something inherently 'wrong' with them.

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  • I think that nearly every ad is sexist right now. Sexist against women to sell to men (lynx, etc) and sexist against men to sell to women (boots, very, etc). The Barclaycard one seemed a bit off in the 21st century because gender stereotyping is usually not spelt out like that. This is just the industry itself so complaining like this is merely pointless firefighting.

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  • What about the advert for Morrisons which has a child giving a Dog chocolate cake under the xmas table !! totally irresponsible as chocolate is poison to a dog and can kill it !! im disgusted that a company can be so stupid as children clearly copy things they see on TV.......!! DO the decent thingand pull the advert now >>

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