A “sexist” Sprite advert has been pulled after prompting a major public backlash.
The ad, which was spotted on the website Joe.ie, was part of the brand’s “Brutally Refreshing” campaign.
When the advert appeared as part of a homepage takeover on the Irish news site, people immediately took to social media to share their disapproval of the “misogynistic” and “disrespectful” advert.
One line read: “She’s seen more ceilings than Michelangelo.”
It has since been removed from the site and Coca Cola, who owns the brand, has apologised.
The advertising campaign featured a range of harsh slogans including: “A 2 at 10 is a 10 at 2”, “You’re not popular, you’re easy” and “One dip is never enough”.
Below each slogan was the hashtag #BrutallyRefreshing.
Understandably, the homepage advert prompted a flurry of angry tweets on social media.
One Twitter user wrote: “I find it disrespectful & misogynistic. Saddened that their marketing team thought this was acceptable.”
While another branded the ad as “horrific”.
Gail Parminter, a senior lecturer in Creative Advertising at Falmouth University, told The Huffington Post UK: “This campaign perpetuates the double standard that women who have multiple sexual partners are somehow defective and to be avoided, yet men are encouraged to be promiscuous.
“It’s also insinuating that girls who are less attractive are an easy lay. Which keeps up the myth of the ‘innocent’ beauty that guys want as a girlfriend while they are happy to have dirty sex with a girl they believe not to be so attractive.
“I’ve heard guys say they enjoy shagging ‘ugly girls’ because they are ‘grateful’.
“This is advertising at its worst - but unfortunately these attitudes are still prevalent.”
In response to the controversial advert, the editor of Joe.ie, Paddy McKenna, said it “shouldn’t have been there” and added that it had since been removed.
A spokesperson for Coca Cola said: “We’re sorry for any offence caused by the #BrutallyRefreshing Sprite campaign in Ireland, which was intended to provide an edgy but humorous take on a range of situations.
“Since its introduction in Ireland, Sprite has been associated with individuality and self-expression and we have always been committed to ensuring we deliver the highest standard of advertising.”
They added: “We recognise that on this particular occasion the content did not meet this standard and we apologise. The campaign has now come to an end and the advert in question will not appear again.”
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