Bic South Africa recently shared an advert on social media, in which a besuited woman is depicted alongside the words “Look like a girl, act like a lady, think like a man, work like a boss.” In my opinion, the advert’s bizarre and unprofessional aesthetic make it look like a parody of a teenage Tumblr meme.
The ad was deleted from Bic’s Twitter and Facebook channels after receiving much harsh criticism online.
At first, one of the company’s marketing heads maintained that the lines were taken from a Women on Business blog, and that the message was meant to be empowering rather than derogatory.
However, the criticism kept coming, and so the company issued a formal apology, stating: “Let’s start out by saying we’re incredibly sorry for offending everybody. That was never our intention but we completely understand where we’ve gone wrong. This post should never have gone out. The feedback you have given us will help us ensure that something like this will never happen again, and we appreciate that.”
Indeed, people took to Twitter to express their very creative reactions to the advert:
Bic has actually been accused of sexism before. The first time was three years ago, when it launched a range of pink pens targeted for women.