Hotel apologizes for 'sexist' ad of couple enjoying breakfast in bed

Sofitel Brisbane, a hotel in Brisbane, Australia, is being accused of gender stereotyping after publishing a seemingly innocent yet apparently sexist ad of a young couple having breakfast in bed.

Lounging in their bathrobes, with a selection of croissants, fruit salad, and other baked goods on display, the couple stare lovingly into each other’s eyes — but it’s their reading material that has social media users up in arms.

A closer look reveals the woman is halfway through a Chanel coffee-table book, while the man is catching up on the Australian Financial Review.

The seemingly innocent ad caused outrage when the couple’s reading materials were called into question. (Photo: Instagram/Elizabeth Redman)

Elizabeth Redman, a reporter at the newspaper the Australian, called out the Brisbane hotel on Twitter, writing “your breakfast looks delicious … just wanted to let you know I’m a woman and I also read the Financial Review every day”.


“Ah yes, those hotel mornings when you wake up, put your hair in a nice chignon and read a coffee table book about Chanel,” one commenter jabbed. “Of course, the fruit platter is on her side, she’d be loath to touch the baked goods,” another wrote, while a third said, “No more diminishing please, in any form.”

One person even suggested the ad looked as if it might have been brainstormed by Mad Men‘s Don Draper.

Sofitel Brisbane swiftly responded to Redman and other critics, claiming that they never meant to reinforce archaic gender roles.


Others reached out to the hotel, saying it had nothing to apologize for, describing the backlash as “unwarranted” and “over the top.”

“If this is all you have to worry your mind about, then you are a very lucky person indeed, geez,” one woman responded. “Please don’t succumb to the senseless bullying this story has generated,” another wrote, saying there was simply nothing wrong with the ad.

Yahoo has contacted Sofitel Brisbane for comment but has not heard back.

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