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.
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”.
— Elizabeth Redman (@elizabethredman) October 7, 2018
“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.
Hi, we appreciate you voicing your concerns. There was no intention of portraying a stereotype, but we recognise it & apologise for any offence it has caused. The creative has been pulled from any future activity. Feel free to send us a DM if you’d like to discuss further
— Sofitel Brisbane (@SofitelBrisbane) October 8, 2018
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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