Sainsbury’s axes clothing advert after backlash for ignoring women’s safety

Sainsbury’s axes clothing advert after backlash for ignoring women’s safety because it showed model with dress and slogan ‘For walks in the parks or strolls after dark’

  • Sainsbury’s has axed a controversial advert after it sparked a huge backlash 
  • The dress advert said it was perfect for ‘walks in the park or strolls after dark’
  • But it has been criticised by the public for not considering women’s safety
  • It comes after several women have been killed walking in the dark in recent years

Sainsbury’s has decided to axe a controversial advert after it sparked a huge backlash online over claims it was appearing to ignore women’s safety.

The supermarket had released an advert for a £24 wrap dress, that showed a woman wearing the outfit, reading ‘For walks in the parks or strolls after dark’.

The poster was received badly, however, by many online pointing out that women walking in the dark has proven to be dangerous and sometimes even deadly.

In one Tweet, that was seen by over two million people online, Nathalie Gordon said: ‘If you’re a person who likes walking/strolling at night & feel safe doing so, I’m genuinely happy for you. But please don’t have a go at people who don’t feel the same.

The supermarket had released an advert for a £24 wrap dress, that showed a woman wearing the outfit, reading 'For walks in the parks or strolls after dark' (pictured)

The supermarket had released an advert for a £24 wrap dress, that showed a woman wearing the outfit, reading ‘For walks in the parks or strolls after dark’ (pictured)

Sainsbury's has decided to axe a controversial advert after it sparked a huge backlash online that it was ignoring women's safety

Sainsbury’s has decided to axe a controversial advert after it sparked a huge backlash online that it was ignoring women’s safety

‘There are a lot of well documented studies, reports and research that has been done around the safety of women.

‘If you feel like they do not represent your lived experience, then you are lucky.’

One added ‘a man wrote that, for sure’ while another said, ‘glad they have done their research’.

Eve Maxwell added: ‘I saw this shockingly, badly thought-out advert through a friend’s Instagram.

One person on Twitter said:  'In light of recent events and protests around women's safety this advert is tone deaf and a very bizarre way of saying you do not employ enough women in advertising'

One person on Twitter said:  ‘In light of recent events and protests around women’s safety this advert is tone deaf and a very bizarre way of saying you do not employ enough women in advertising’

The supermarket chain has since apologised and is working to remove the adverts from its stores

The supermarket chain has since apologised and is working to remove the adverts from its stores

‘In light of recent events and protests around women’s safety this advert is tone deaf and a very bizarre way of saying you do not employ enough women in advertising.’

Sainsbury’s has since apologised for the advert and said it is working to remove the posters from all stores.

A spokesperson for the supermarket told MailOnline: ‘We’re sorry that due to the design, some customers found this sign to be inappropriate and are working to remove these from the store.

‘We’ll work hard with our agency partner to ensure this doesn’t happen again.’

The advert comes after several women have been killed while walking in the dark in the last three years.

The Sainsbury's advert caused a significant backlash online over fears that it was not considering the safety of women

The Sainsbury’s advert caused a significant backlash online over fears that it was not considering the safety of women 

In June of last year 35-year-old law graduate Zara Aleena was killed while walking home from her home in Ilford, East London by serial offender Jordan McSweeny.

In September 2021, Sabina Nessa, a 28-year-old primary school teacher was walking through a park to meet a friend, when Koci Selamaj, 36, struck her over the head 34 times with a metal traffic triangle in London.

He was jailed for life in April.

Earlier that year in March 2021, Sarah Everard, 33, was kidnapped, raped and killed by serving police officer Wayne Couzens while walking home near Clapham Common, south London.

Zara Aleena was killed in June of last year after walking home in Ilford, East London

Sarah Everard was killed in March 2021 after she was kidnapped and raped by a serving police officer

Zara Aleena (left) and Sarah Everard (right) are two of the women killed in the last few years when walking home in the dark 

Couzens was sentenced to a whole-life order in prison following the horrific murder.

In 2020, sister’s Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman were walking home in the early hours of June 6 following a birthday picnic when they were killed in Freyent Country Park, London.

The sister’s killer Danyal Hussein, 19, was sentenced to imprisonment following the double murder when he stabbed them 30 times.

A report by the Office of National Statistics also found that women feel more unsafe than men across all settings in the dark.

In parks at night, 82 per cent of women reported feeling very or fairly unsafe, whereas only 42 per cent of men felt this way.

Sainsbury’s is not the only big supermarket chain forced to remove one its ads, however.

Last year, Waitrose had to remove a section of its Christmas advert and apologies after it featured two farmers showing off their sun tans

Last year, Waitrose had to remove a section of its Christmas advert and apologies after it featured two farmers showing off their sun tans

In November, Waitrose had to remove a section of its Christmas advert and apologies after it featured two farmers showing off their sun tans.

It provoked criticism from skin cancer patients and charities, who said it was ‘glorifying’ tans, with skin cancer patients calling it a ‘kick in the teeth’ for those who suffer from the disease.

In February 2022, Boohoo was banned by the Advertising Standards Authority following complaints it used images that objectified and sexualised women.

The ad – a product listing for a T-shirt on Boohoo’s website in November – showed a model wearing a top with thong-style bikini bottoms and trainers.

In February 2022, Boohoo was banned by the Advertising Standards Authority following complaints it used images that objectified and sexualised women

In February 2022, Boohoo was banned by the Advertising Standards Authority following complaints it used images that objectified and sexualised women

Images included the model kneeling while another showed her sitting on the ground with her legs apart.

A third image was an upper-body shot that showed the model lifting the T-shirt as if to remove it and exposing the skin on her stomach and side.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said they took the decision to ban the advert after receiving a complaint that the ad was ‘offensive, harmful and irresponsible’ and ‘objectified women’.

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