An advert by car makers Skoda has been branded sexist and provoked an angry response from Twitter users. The advert, which was published in the Irish Independent today, shows a groom weighing up his options on his wedding day.
Option A is to keep his wife-to-be, option B is to give her back to her daddy, and option C is to trade her in for her younger sister. The advert has the tag line; ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if we all had these options?’
Clearly some people didn’t see the funny side and Skoda has faced a backlash of abuse online.
@EverydaySexism tweeted: “Here’s @SkodaIRL taking civilization back five decades in today’s Irish Independent” and “If your car was any good @SkodaIRL, you wouldn’t need sexism to sell it.”
@DublinJo added: “A cheap laugh at the expense of women for the lads. Good job they don’t want us buying their cars!”
The company has tried to defend its campaign, stating that the next advert in the series would show a bride on her wedding day facing similar options. Skoda UK tweeted: “The ad currently running in Ireland wasn’t produced or run in the UK though we apologise for any offence caused.”
However that has not been enough to stem the tide of public criticism. Naomi O’Leary, an Irish journalist working in Italy wrote that the message in the ad was: “Lads, wouldn’t it be great if we could still acknowledge women are objects?”
Damian O’Brien, the founder of Ask Direct in Ireland questioned how a marketing company could ever think the campaign would work; “Which brilliant creative agency came up with that stupid, sexist Skoda ad?”
Despite the negative response, Skoda Ireland have not issued an apology and simply stated: “Finance offers can be boring so we’re being firmly tongue-in-cheek to make it more engaging.”