Mumsnet: Advertisers 'raise fears over too much swearing' on internet forum

Top brands including National Trust and reportedly concerned about their ads appearing next to posts containing 'offensive' swear words

Greg Wilford
Monday 21 August 2017 16:39
The parenting website Mumsnet claims to have 1.5 million registered members
The parenting website Mumsnet claims to have 1.5 million registered members

A number of top brands have reportedly raised concerns about their adverts on Mumsnet after their marketing appeared next to "offensive" swear words posted by users., National Trust and Italian fashion brand Bulgari are among the companies concerned by profanity on the popular internet forum, which is visited by millions of parents every month, according to the Times.

Banner ads for major firms have appeared on posts called "Is this w**ky?" and "I can't f**king do this anymore", which generated hundreds of comments.

One frustrated user in the latter post described their son's tantrums by saying: "He’s proceeded to just yell at me all f***ing morning. I am f***ing broken."

A National Trust spokesperson told the Times they had requested that their adverts were removed from posts containing swear words, while a representative from price comparison website said they would take measures to prevent their ads appearing "on any page that is deemed offensive in any way".

The companies pay for advertising space on Mumsnet and a number of other sites through agencies who use software to target their specific consumers.

Parents vent their frustrations about issues ranging from potty training to internet safety on Mumsnet, who have said they are not "over prudish" about swearing.

The site, which makes money through advertising, sponsors and events, generated a turnover of £7.2million last year and has become one of the most influential internet forums in the UK since it was founded by Carrie Longton and Justine Roberts in 2000.

Ms Roberts said: "We haven't been contacted by any advertisers with any concerns about swearing on Mumsnet and we have no plans to change our policy on allowing swearing on our forums. Mumsnet is after all a site for grown ups which people visit to get advice, support and sometimes to let off a bit of steam."

The news that top brands were reportedly concerned about their ads due to swearing drew mixed reactions from Mumsnet users.

"F**k me, [Mumsnet HQ], is this true?" asked Paffle.

"Are people that bothered by swearing? Please tell me you're not going to ban swearing."

Impostersyndrome said: "I'm with the advertisers, I'm afraid. For a site that's meant to be full of women more intelligent than average, I'm astonished at how sweary it is. In no way does it reflect my reality at home or at work."

Other advertisers on the site include Marks & Spencer, TK Maxx and Asda.

A spokesperson at said: “We have measures in place to ensure our display adverts appear alongside appropriate content. We do not have plans to withdraw advertising from Mumsnet, but each webpage is considered on a case-by-case basis.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in