Car-maker Skoda has come under fire after running a “simply sexist” advert in Ireland.
Under the banner of their “simply clever” campaign, the company ran a full page advert in today’s Irish Independent which showed a groom weighing up his wedding day options – “A: Keep her; B: Give her back to Daddy or C: Trade her in for her younger sister.”
The advert was seized upon by shocked Twitter users, who variously described it as “cringe-inducing”, “hideous” and “simply sexist”.
Skoda Ireland tried to tackle the issue by posting a picture of the next planned advert – this time showing a bride in the foreground and faced with similar options.
But Twitter user Everyday Sexism (@EverydaySexism) told the company: “You realise this is still horribly sexist and doesn't 'make it better' right?”
One user was minded of another advert, appearing some years ago in Germany but also under the “simply clever” banner, which promoted two-zone air conditioning in Skoda cars with a picture of a woman’s breasts in a tight top – with one of her nipples erect.
Scroll down for other images from the Skoda campaign
In response to the pair of adverts, user Dublin Jo (@DublinJo) said: “A cheap laugh at the expense of women for the lads. Good job they don't want us buying their cars!”
Skoda UK issued an apology on Twitter, though they were quick to say that the advert did not appear in Britain.
“The ad currently running in Ireland wasn’t produced or run in the UK though we apologise for any offence caused,” it said.
Damian O’Broin, the founder and director of marketing agency Ask Direct in Ireland, said: “So. Which brilliant creative agency came up with that stupid, sexist Skoda ad?”
Naomi O’Leary, an Irish news reporter who works for Reuters in Italy, wrote that the advert was saying: “Lads, wouldn't it be great if we could still acknowledge women are objects?”
And Joan O'Connell joked: “I like my women like I like my car: property for purchase.”
While Skoda UK was happy to say sorry, Skoda Ireland did no such thing. Their response to the furore: “Finance offers can be boring so we’re being firmly tongue-in-cheek to make it more engaging.”
They did not elaborate on whether the pun was intended.