Asda Xmas ad sparks ‘sexist’ complaints

Asda is facing censure from the advertising regulator after its Christmas ad sparked a slew of complaints alleging the spot is “sexist” and reinforces negative gender stereotypes.

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The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has already received 24 complaints about the ad, which launched on Sunday (4 November) and depicts the challenges mums face in preparation for Christmas.

The supermarket and its ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi created the campaign using insight from Asda’s rolling ‘Mumdex’ survey of 4,000 mums.

Viewers, however, have objected to the ad and its strapline – “Behind every great Christmas there’s Mum” – claiming it suggests that men, or fathers, do not have a role in contributing to Christmas.

Another objection to the ad is that it implies it is solely a mother’s job to prepare for Christmas, which complainants say is sexist to both men and women and could reinforce stereotypes.

A spokesman from the ASA says the watchdog will “carefully assess the complaints before deciding on the next steps”, which may include a formal investigation that could result in the ad being banned.

Viewers have also taken to the Marketing Week website to complain about the festive ad.

One reader, Kay Smyth, wrote: “I think Asda have badly misjudged their market with this advert. It manages to offend mothers and women – you only find fulfilment in serving and satisfying every need of your family – and fathers and men – you are just an incompetent spare part.

“The only ‘emotional levels’ it seems to connect on are frustration, defensiveness and anger. It doesn’t give the ‘warm fuzzies’ and I can’t imagine who’d be moved to shop at Asda as a result of this ghastly advert.”

An Asda spokeswoman told Marketing Week that 80 per cent of its shoppers are mums and in research they were “overwhelmingly positive” about the ad.

She added: “The sentiment was that it was ‘so true’. Following the launch on Sunday we received over 22,000 likes on our Facebook page in less than three hours.”

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