Lawyers under fire for 'derogatory' ad

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The Independent Online

A firm of divorce lawyers was condemned by women's groups last night for its poster campaign calling on unhappy husbands to "ditch the bitch".

A firm of divorce lawyers was condemned by women's groups last night for its poster campaign calling on unhappy husbands to "ditch the bitch".

Brookman's poster campaign, designed for the toilets of city pubs and bars, also includes a version for women which states "all men are bastards".

Women's Aid compared the firm's use of language with the Prodigy's song "Smack My Bitch up" ,which was widely criticised for seeming to condone domestic violence.

"It's offensive terminology and derogatory to women," said its spokeswoman, Sarah Watkins. "The use of these words does not encourage respect for either sex. They do not help the causes of equality and the fact that they are being shown in toilets is offensive."

Sandra Horley, the chief executive of Refuge, the charity that supports battered women, merely dismissed the posters as "not worthy of comment".

The advertising agency which designed the posters said it had had reservations. "When we showed the work to Brookman the initial reaction was that we shouldn't do it but at the end of the day divorce is not a nice subject and there is point in trying to dress it up as something pink and fluffy," said George Shaw, of Joslin Shaw.