A new Samsung campaign has caused a stir on Twitter – but for all the wrong reasons.
Showcasing its new smart watch, the advert shows a woman waking up at 2am and then going for a run through deserted, poorly-lit streets while wearing headphones.
The voiceover says: “’Sleep at night. Run faster, push harder, follow the herd’ – not for me. I run on a different schedule – mine.
“Your Galaxy. Your Way.”
The runner can be seen interacting with various people during her outing including a cyclist, a person at a bus stop, someone on the side of road and a group who seem to have been for a night out.
All of these encounters appear to be very friendly, which has certainly surprised people on Twitter.
But the ad has also been accused of being particularly tone deaf as it comes after a year of heightened conversation about women’s safety.
Reclaim These Streets, a women’s safety group, described it as “totally tone deaf” in light of Murphy’s death. Her murder also sparked the hashtag #shewasonarun, where people started sharing their own experiences of being harassed while jogging.
Esther Newman, from Women’s Running magazine, said the advert is “not representing the truth”.
She told Radio 1 Newsbeat: “It’s really shocking. I don’t know any woman who would be running at 2am in the morning. Certainly not in a city.”
She added: “Wearing headphones is a contentious point. Most women runners I know don’t wear headphones and that’s during the day, because they are concerned about their safety.”
Newman said her contributors believe “it’s a very very small” portion of men who make women feel unsafe, but encouraged advertisers to focus on how men can make women feel more comfortable while running.
The online running community Run Mummy Run also told the BBC that the portrayal of women running at night was “unrealistic” as they do not have “the luxury of this type of freedom with [their] safety” in reality.
It’s not just the running aspect of this campaign which misses the mark – women’s safety in general has become one of the most pressing issues of the last year.
ONS stats revealed one in two women compared to one in seven men feel unsafe when walking alone after dark in a quiet street near their home.
Only in September 2021, Sabina Nessa was attacked and killed while walking through a southeast London park.
The campaign also launched just 13 months after the death of Sarah Everard, who was kidnapped, raped and killed by a then-serving police officer. She was walking home through Clapham at around 9pm at the time.
These high-profile cases – particularly Everard’s – pushed women’s safety to the top of the news agenda.
People on Twitter this week have suggested that the ad is so out of touch it must have been produced with hardly any women.
Many more openly explained their own personal angst over seeing the ad.