The image used for the 'husband hunting' campaign / Nine West

The American footwear retailer sparks outraged with new ad campaign

The American footwear giant has released an ad campaign with controversial slogans alluding to husband hunting and childcare.

The campaign features two distinct styles: Starter Husband Hunting includes platform booties, peep toe sandals, animal print pumps and lots of red leather; and First Day of Kindergarten features strappy sandals, tassel loaders and slippers.

In one of the images, which relates to husband hunting, a woman appears to be wearing leopard stilettos and holding arrows while a dartboard is seen on the back. The accompanying text reads:

“Go get em’ tiger. Whether you’re looking for Mr. Right or Mr. Right now… we got a shoe for that.”

A second image, related to the first day at kindergarten, shows a woman in black heels surrounded by used tissues. The accompanying text reads: “The bus arrives and so do the waterworks. Then it hits you: mommy now has the weeks off. Wipe those happy-sad tears”.

According to the retailer’s website, these are the only two occasions women need shoes for, at least the only options Nine West’s new collection caters for.

The names of the shoes are also eye-catching: “Meoww Peep Toe Platform Booties”, “Love Fury Flatform Heels” or “Jealouseye Pointy Toe Pumps” for the men hunt, and “Foodie Monk Strap Loafers”, “Disheveled Platform Booties” and “Tiptoe Black Peeptoe Booties” for the playground.

The advertising sparked outrage on the internet with customer reactions slamming the latest marketing strategy as “dumbest campaign ever”, “ridiculous” and “terrible”.

Mashable tweeted: “Nine West's 'husband hunting' campaign is not sitting well with the women of the 21st century”

But Erika Szychowski, Nine West’s senior vice president of marketing, thought different. She told the Times: “My gut tells me that it’s not offensive. And it’s not just my gut but the incredibly active, large community of people that we work with both internally and externally.”