Why this hotel ad has got people riled up

  • 08/10/2018

A seemingly innocuous hotel ad has angered Australians who say it perpetuates harmful gender stereotypes.

The print commercial for Sofitel Brisbane appeared in Saturday's edition of The Sydney Morning Herald. It shows a couple in a hotel bed, both wearing white robes and enjoying breakfast together.

But people have taken issue with the models' choice of reading material. While the man is shown perusing a copy of the Australian Financial Review newspaper, the woman appears to be reading a huge Chanel coffee table book, which presumably consists mostly of photos.

Women took to Twitter to air their grievances with the ad, accusing Sofitel of implying women are less likely to read serious journalism than men, and prefer to look at picture books about fashion and clothes instead.

Some were also angered by the breakfast items laid out on the bed. While the man looks ready to tuck into some hearty pancakes with a few pastries on the side, the woman has just a plate of fruit next to her.

Critics said the way the ad had positioned the food suggested an unwillingness to show women eating anything more than a light, healthy snack, while men are free to chow down on sugary or fatty meals without a care.

In response to the criticism, a Sofitel spokesperson apologised for the ad and said it had been pulled from any future publications.

"There was no intention of portraying a stereotype, but we recognise it and apologise for any offence that it has caused."


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