After making one sexist faux pas, you'd think that companies would learn from their mistakes and make sure they take steps to do better — but apparently this is not always the case. For instance, Bic pens just released a hugely sexist ad for Women's Day in South Africa, because apparently the whole "Bic For Her" fiasco didn't teach them anything. On the bright side, Bic South Africa has both apologized and pulled the image — and the Internet is once again having a lot of fun improving on the ad in question, so that's pretty great.
The Bic ad was originally posted on the company's South Africa Facebook page, though it has since been pulled. It featured a woman in a business suit alongside the message: “Look like a girl, act like a lady, think like a man, work like a boss #HappyWomensDay.” Apparently it was supposed to be "empowering" — but the problem is that it's anything but. Being told how to look, act, and think is disempowering enough; to be told that we need to "think like a man," however, makes it even worse by implying that the way women think is no good at all.
The company has since apologized for the ad, posting on Facebook, "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."
So at least there's that. But that hasn't stopped the Internet from having their fun mocking the clueless ad.
And plenty of people decided to give Bic's marketing team some help by creating their own versions of the image:
There was also this helpful suggestion:
This isn't the first time Bic has gotten in trouble over ridiculous sexism. Three years ago, the Internet got ahold of their "Bic for Her" pens, because apparently women can't use regular pens properly — presumably due to our scary alien hands. As you might imagine, the Amazon reviews were pretty excellent then.
So will Bic actually shape up this time and avoid any more sexist mistakes? I hope so; following the suggestion that maybe some more women should be involved in decisions about marketing to women would not be amiss.
But if they really want to stop making accidental parodies of outrageous sexism, they might want to start by nixing this "Miss BIC" line, which is basically "Bic for Her" all over again:
Image: taz + belly/Flickr