'Career women make bad mothers' ad to run on side of buses

(1056 Posts)
mrsbaldwin Mon 04-Jan-10 15:48:03

Brand Republic the advertising industry trade mag and the Independent media section are reporting that the Outdoor Advertising Association are to run ads featuring the slogan 'Career Women Make Bad Mothers' on the side of buses and elsewhere. This is to promote the power of outdoor advertising - gets people talking innit. Here is the link - bit.ly/4VQ1Z8 - to the Inde item, which itself links through to the Brand Republic item. No doubt the person who thought this catchy campaign up (an 80s adman, one Garry Lace) will even as I type be wetting his pants in glee that someone has posted about it on Mumsnet. But does he really think the mass of the population will suddenly be moved to ruminate on the utility of outdoors advertising when they see the ad ... or will they just think 'ha! career women are bad mothers, I always thought so - it says so on that bus!'. Click here to find out more about Garry Lace and his firm www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/apr/09/garry-lace-campbell-beta I must say I'm tempted to take a few dirty nappies down to Garry's offices which are at 36-38 Carnaby Street www.betalondon.com (0) 207 734 2949 Nappies - symbolic, as in ... Garry, your ads are a load of s*

I wonder if female drivers will refuse to drive buses with this slogan on the side. Isn't that what happened with that Atheist campaign.

Does the magazine have advertisments?

mrscrocoduck Mon 04-Jan-10 19:08:05

One man, infamously, refused to drive his bus during the atheist campaign. An inane response highlighting his inadequate intellect.

The slogan is absurdly over-generalised. It would be better as something like: Bad mothers make bad mothers.

Am saddened more women don't choose (where there is viable choice) to stay at home and raise their children. I think society is suffering. But that's not the point.

I saw this ad on the side of a building last night and jsut stood there lookingat it with my jaw dropped.

It doesn't show that outdoor advertising works, it just shows that controversial advertising works.

rainbowinthesky Mon 04-Jan-10 19:12:05

Who would pay for that, MrsCrocoduck? Who is raising these children then?

wingandprayer Mon 04-Jan-10 19:12:40

As long as there's another bus with "all ad agencies are full of overpaid wankers overcharging for recycled ideas" for every bus with the working women slogan, I'll be happy. Only fuel for discussion after all...

GhoulsAreLoud Mon 04-Jan-10 19:14:07

I think it's fucking horrible.

southeastastra Mon 04-Jan-10 19:14:27

what a knob

Hassled Mon 04-Jan-10 19:16:27

Maybe there's a bus somewhere which says "Career men make bad fathers" hmm.

Of all the controversial thought provoking statements they could have chosen, this one is rather boring and predictable isn't it?

It's a bit Daily Mail

Or "Cheats and Liars make bad partners"

ComeOveneer Mon 04-Jan-10 19:17:32

"Am saddened more women don't choose (where there is viable choice) to stay at home and raise their children. I think society is suffering"

(a) why should they choose to stay at home because it is financially viable, when their children are well taken care of and loved dearly

(b) why is it "women", aren't children created by 2 parents - is it so much more acceptable for the father to "abandon" his children for work!!!! hmm

mrscrocoduck Mon 04-Jan-10 19:17:54

rainbowinthesky my point was 'where there is viable choice'. By 'viable' I mean financially. So someone paying for it is not the point. I'm sorry i don't understand your second question.

Theochris Mon 04-Jan-10 19:18:34

Wow that's irritating.

mrscrocoduck Mon 04-Jan-10 19:19:50

comeoveneer i concede that working women's children are 'taken care of', but 'loved dearly'? By strangers?

TinaSparkles Mon 04-Jan-10 19:20:12

Surely it's in breach of some code, sex discrimination act? It's as bad as saying asians make bad doctors, or Americans make bad presidents or some other lame and tired old adage.

What a disgrace.

Harriedandflustered Mon 04-Jan-10 19:20:27

Gary Lace is a wanker

Please can we have an MN policy not to have any adverts on the site with which he has been associated?

HerBeatitude Mon 04-Jan-10 19:21:02

Typical adman tosser.

Couldn't think of anything genuinely controversial which might actually get him into real trouble, so goes for lazy Daily Mail-isms.

mrscrocoduck Mon 04-Jan-10 19:22:14

In direct response to the poster's sentiment I would probably say 'how do you know career women make bad mothers, they're never around'.

Just a thought.

HerBeatitude Mon 04-Jan-10 19:22:55

Mothersw are fair game. I feel like putting exploding knickers on and throwing htem at him. grin

notevenamousie Mon 04-Jan-10 19:23:17

The one on the side of a building today felt like a kick in the stomach. So I am being a decent role model and crying blood seat and tears for my girl is bad. I don't know what else I can do....

GhoulsAreLoud Mon 04-Jan-10 19:24:16

Of course they're going to get a reaction writing something nasty about mothers. Mothers feel 'the guilt' whatever they do and this chump knows that.

Well the ad is working lol

GhoulsAreLoud Mon 04-Jan-10 19:26:24

mrscrocoduck what is a career woman in your opinion?

Some 80s stereotype with shoulder pads and a mobile the size of a brick with two nannies?

It is possible to work and still spend a lot of time with your child, you know.

HerBeatitude Mon 04-Jan-10 19:26:31

I wonder how the women who work in his ad agency feel about this?

Or perhaps he operates the same policy my old ad agency used to, and just gets rid of any mothers as soon as he can?

annh Mon 04-Jan-10 19:26:52

Surely that could be reported to the Advertising Standards Association? Mrs Crocoduck, being a career woman is not mutually exclusive to loving your children dearly or looking after them! There are an awful lot of hours left over after work is done!

Awassailinglookingforanswers Mon 04-Jan-10 19:27:40

mrscroco - you seem to have some sort of axe to grind with working mothers?

HerBeatitude Mon 04-Jan-10 19:29:14

oh god let's not argue about the central proposition or take mrscrockdick seriously, that's us doing what they want. Let's talk about what a bunch of wankers adland are, how sexist they are, what jurassic working practices so many of them still have and how I will urge my dd not to have anything to do with them unless the industry has completely revolutionised its attitude to women by the time she is of an age to take up a career.

Awassailinglookingforanswers Mon 04-Jan-10 19:29:29

quality over quantity is my mantra

(and no I don't work)

rainbowinthesky Mon 04-Jan-10 19:29:33

I don't know any working mothers who leave their children with strangers. I didn't really understand your point about a child whose parents are working not being raised by them so I ask again who is raising the child if the parents both work???

What about fathers? Are they not raising their child and are they bad parents for working??

havoc Mon 04-Jan-10 19:29:56

Agree with TinaSparkles, if it isn't a breach of the sex discrimination act, it should be. No one would ever say 'Working Men make bad fathers'

FunnyLittleFrog Mon 04-Jan-10 19:30:20

gary lace, for example, is a twat

andiem Mon 04-Jan-10 19:31:09

mrscroco are you really Mrs Gary Lace hmm

dittany Mon 04-Jan-10 19:31:57

Picture of bus here:


How do the mothers working at the advertising agency feel? How about the mothers in marketing who have to deal with this bunch of cock-ends.

People talk about women being equal now, yet misogyny like this can appear to be taken seriously in public. What a disgrace.

DorotheaPlenticlew Mon 04-Jan-10 19:34:34


FlightAttendant Mon 04-Jan-10 19:35:21

what a complete arse, and ignorant to boot...how the feck does this prove anything? As someone said, it just shows that controversy gets noticed...d'uh

Harriedandflustered Mon 04-Jan-10 19:36:01

Reading the comments and just asking for clarification - is there a link between Gary Twatface and Nick Griffin?

dittany Mon 04-Jan-10 19:37:11

Mind you man in advertising turning out to be sexist loser is a bit like discovering rain is wet.

Also feel for women who have to climb on these buses. More women than men use public transport so its a direct insult to them.

BitOfFun Mon 04-Jan-10 19:38:45

Are there meny mothers in marketing firms like this? It all sounds a bit Mad Men to me.

smallorange Mon 04-Jan-10 19:40:00

What is a 'career woman' exactly ? Is it the same as a 'career man?'

This ad has seriously pissed me off

skidoodle Mon 04-Jan-10 19:40:56

WTF is a "career" woman?

As far as I can see it's a pejorative term in itself that sneers at women's aspirations to have interesting jobs that matter to them, whether or not they have children.

I've never heard of a "career man" so I don't recognise the existence of the "career woman", the whole notion is insulting and demeaning.

smallorange Mon 04-Jan-10 19:41:11

Yes working mothers are going to feel great getting on that bus....

DorotheaPlenticlew Mon 04-Jan-10 19:41:25

Ahem. Now that I have recovered ...

What is the best way to deny someone like this the triumph they no doubt crave? I suppose (sigh) it may be best to just ignore it and rise above it, but I for one will find it hard to do so. And I don't have any other way of getting around town apart from buses.

dittany Mon 04-Jan-10 19:44:15

Somebody needs a ladder and an aerosol can to sort this out. Or a lot of someones, a lot of ladders and a lot of aerosol cans.

I just can't imagine what it must be like to be a woman working in companies that are doing stuff like this.

Awassailinglookingforanswers Mon 04-Jan-10 19:46:05

if I were a working mother (and I'm not) I'd get on the bus with a frigging great T-shirt saing

"mothers on benefits are better parents" wink

DorotheaPlenticlew Mon 04-Jan-10 19:48:33

FFS, have you lot seen some of the comments at brandrepublic? Follow link in OP

EdgarAleNPie Mon 04-Jan-10 19:49:49

hang on - isn't the point of this to get a debate going rather than actually push that particular point?

so, in a way, as its evidently worked...good advertising?

we argue that on here all the time. with women on both sides...(and blokes)

so lets not get our knickers in a twist too much...

MrsChemist Mon 04-Jan-10 19:50:15

Ah well, any woman with an ounce of self respect (be she a mother or not) won't want anything to do with this twat.

Sucks to be him.

brightonpebble Mon 04-Jan-10 19:54:07

Advertising Standards Authority Online Complaints form:


Harriedandflustered Mon 04-Jan-10 19:54:38

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

hbfac Mon 04-Jan-10 19:55:03

Only way to counteract this sort of cr*p is, I suspect, on its own terms ie. getting a list of Gary Lace's clients and writing to them telling them you're considering boycotting their products if they continue employing his w*nky agency.

I find it sad that Mr. L -- and society -- think this is merely "controversial" as a statement, and therefore OK to just use to advertise something else (outdoor advertising). It's not merely controversial -- it's highly offensive, deeply sexist, actually impacts on women's psychological well-being and contributes to a society where women still don't earn as much as men, with the fact of having children being an important part of that.

I could go on.

I'm p*ssed off Mr L and society can treat 50% of the population like this.

brightonpebble Mon 04-Jan-10 19:55:21
hbfac Mon 04-Jan-10 19:56:46

Edgar - the debate is about whether his future clients should invest money in outdoor advertising.

SAHM/Career Women/motherhood/equal career trajectories/wok-life balance/blah blah is just all so much collateral.

GetOrfMoiLand Mon 04-Jan-10 19:58:03

This is so frigging sickening.

Actually, my blood is boiling on this one. This plays at all the deep seated and hidden doubts that women who work have. I have always worked full time since dd was 3 months old, it was a decision I do not regret, and my dd is a beautiful 14 year olf to be proud of. However I had a very shaky day today after going back to work after 2 weeks off (typical January blues) thinking sod this, waah, want to stay at home. Stupid, mysoginistic crap like this put up on buses to be fucking controversial is just a bloody outrage.

I agree with the poster who said what about the women who drive the buses, work for the ad agency, are involved in any of this. Not to mention the scores of fucking working mothers in London who will have to get on these frigging buses to get to work in order to pay the bills and pay to bring up their children.

I hope the buses get paint chucked on 'em.

Scowl Mon 04-Jan-10 19:59:02

i saw this
as not a highly paid advertising executive a vaguely intelligent woman i could have thought of a dozen or so catchy yet inoffensive slogans....

dittany Mon 04-Jan-10 19:59:38

The thing is he's not even making a point about outdoor advertising. This would be just as offensive as an internet ad, a TV ad or a piece of direct mail, so he can't pretend it's suddenly noticeable just because it's on a bus or a billboard.

What it shows is that blatant misogyny will garner attention.

Harriedandflustered Mon 04-Jan-10 20:00:37

Thanks for posting the ASA complaints details. I have complained

Why not "Working men make bad fathers" eh?

Lizzylou Mon 04-Jan-10 20:01:00

We need MNers for Justice, or somesuch to sort this out. Get yer boilersuits and paint out!

What a complete bunch of arse.

Of all the fecking topics he could have picked..........

DorotheaPlenticlew Mon 04-Jan-10 20:01:01

Hbfac sums it up well. The "debate" re working mothers is just stirring; there's no larger goal of any type regarding that issue, so it's totally pointless. Purely a cynical exercise designed to drum up business, casually shitting on millions of families in the process. Oh Mr L, you bad boy!

HerBeatitude Mon 04-Jan-10 20:01:10

Well it's what the ad industry does all the time to get attention isn't it - promote mysogyny? It's what they do best.

GetOrfMoiLand Mon 04-Jan-10 20:01:40

Dittany - there is a billboard about a mile from my house which has got a playoy bunny type picture advertising a sex shop. The first poster has SEXIST emblazoned all acorss the girls tits, they replaced it and now the slogan says GIRL CHILDREN THIS IS WHAT YOU WILL BE EXPECTED TO LOOK LIKE WHEN YOU ARE ADULTS BECAUSE THE WORLD IS FULL OF MISOSYNIST BASTARDS.

I applaud the people who took the time to do that every time I drive past. Hopefully they will go and have a go at the buses.

GetOrfMoiLand Mon 04-Jan-10 20:02:50

Should have 'admen make really good coke heads' (actually, that is not at all suprising or controversial, is it?)

GetOrfMoiLand Mon 04-Jan-10 20:04:21

Someone started a thread a couple of weeks agoabout a column in the Times re blatant sexism in advertising the world over.

Don't know why I am so surprised, really. Nothing bloody changes it, does it.

DorotheaPlenticlew Mon 04-Jan-10 20:04:21

Can't decide whether to complain or not. Surely it's exactly what they want.

brightonpebble Mon 04-Jan-10 20:07:41

And to make a complaint to the bus company:

Contact us
If you have a comment or suggestion about any Metroline bus service (except the Hertfordshire Routes 84 and 242) send it to the address below:

Customer Services, London Buses, 4th floor- Zone G7, Palestra, 197 Blackfriars Road London SE1 8NJ

Tel: 0845 300 7000 (0800-2000 Mondays to Fridays)

Fax: 020 7027 9914

E-mail: customerservices@tfl-buses.co.uk

Please send comments or suggestions about our Hertfordshire Routes 84 and 242, to our Potters Bar Garage, contact details can be found by clicking on the map on the right.
Metroline Head Office
66 College Road

Tel: 020 8218 8888
Fax: 020 8218 8899

dittany Mon 04-Jan-10 20:08:25

Here's their blog if anybody wants to make a direct comment to them:


Their "Christmas card" was a video of two women doing burlesque in a shop window, with plenty of shots taken from underneath and zooming in on their bums. hmm

LOL at Admen make good cokeheads, GetOrf. At least somebody has got their paintbrush out too.

The best thing would be if women marketers refused to employ their agency.

dittany Mon 04-Jan-10 20:11:15

Here's the Outdoor Advertising Association who are the clients:


Also from the article '"The campaign also contains the line  '1966 - it won't happen this year'." I guess Garry Lace will be avoiding dark alleys from now on!!

Scowl Mon 04-Jan-10 20:13:16

i saw in on a billboard

brightonpebble Mon 04-Jan-10 20:14:14

And Boris Johnson's email:


(I copied him on the email to tfl).

Might try targetting members of the transport comittee next. Will post (after bedtime) if I get more contact details.

HBFAC makes a very good point. The only thing that will upset this scumbag is to write or boycotte his advertisers or the people who pay him to do their advertising.

sfxmum Mon 04-Jan-10 20:16:17

If this was a group expressing their opinion I would say it is a price to pay for freedom of expression
but as a 'stunt' is just offensive biscuit

AvrilH Mon 04-Jan-10 20:18:36

If only we could photoshop any published images, changing the words to

"Admen make bad fathers"

IME that is actually true

morningpaper Mon 04-Jan-10 20:20:41

Advertising is a terribly sexist industry, but at the mo the Outdoor industry is up the shitter - companies refusing to pay invoices for months on end and it's all grinding to a horrible halt. So they are desperate to raise their profile and their main market is similarly-minded sexist men who buy advertising.

We need to think of a funny way of sabotaging the ads....

Katz Mon 04-Jan-10 20:21:05

so where is best to direct our complaint - ads complaints agency is playing into his hands, again same with newspapers.

Katz Mon 04-Jan-10 20:23:21

who else do Beta represent?

and these adverts have cost £1.25 million!!!!!

FairyMum Mon 04-Jan-10 20:24:09

What is a career-woman anyway? Are there "career-men" too? My husband is a career-man. LOL

morningpaper Mon 04-Jan-10 20:24:19

> Dittany - there is a billboard about a mile from my house which has got a playoy bunny type picture advertising a sex shop. The first poster has SEXIST emblazoned all acorss the girls tits, they replaced it and now the slogan says GIRL CHILDREN THIS IS WHAT YOU WILL BE EXPECTED TO LOOK LIKE WHEN YOU ARE ADULTS BECAUSE THE WORLD IS FULL OF MISOSYNIST BASTARDS.


justaboutandhernewbaby Mon 04-Jan-10 20:25:51

Wow. Although they are clearly better feminists than spellers.

Scowl Mon 04-Jan-10 20:28:40

and they say feminists battles have been won

dittany Mon 04-Jan-10 20:30:04

There's the bus slogan generator, AvrilH:


Northernlebkuchen Mon 04-Jan-10 20:35:11

Bloody depressing that outright misogyny can be 'allowed' and 'excused' all in the name of being controversial.

Scowl Mon 04-Jan-10 20:35:50

agree northern

MrsChemist Mon 04-Jan-10 20:38:43

Ahhhh dittany, you got there first. I love b3ta.

southeastastra Mon 04-Jan-10 20:39:01

surely advertising standards will withdraw them if they get enough complaints?

foxinsocks Mon 04-Jan-10 20:40:02

I haven't seen any yet and I get the bus every day <arms self>

he could have paid me that £1.25m and I would have happily stayed at home for a bit

Scowl Mon 04-Jan-10 20:41:43

Acceptable to make such statements about women
Imagine the outrage if a racial group was placed in the slogan rather than the word women

brightonpebble Mon 04-Jan-10 20:45:32

I know using the normal complaints process only goes to prove the point that controversial ads generate more PR than the ad spend would ever bring in.

Still, despite my name, I live in London, I take the busses, and I'd rather wait in the cold than board a bus with that advert, so I want to see it gone.

But if anyone has a more creative idea about how to react, I'm on board (so to speak).

Beware the Revenge of the MNetters!

SkaterGrrrrl Mon 04-Jan-10 20:45:38

What makes me mad is all the mums who will see that bus ad and feel crappy - especially women without the media literacy evident on this thread, who are able to analyse who placed the ad and what their motivation is.

Katz Mon 04-Jan-10 20:47:19

theres a billboard at the end of my road with one of these on - i just wish that there wasn't lots of snow making ladders, climbing and paint a bit hazardous!

foxinsocks Mon 04-Jan-10 20:48:14

thing is, we are proving his point. His point was 'people will see this and come and talk about it online'. And tada.

I like that line 'Women, don't marry lazy men' in that article scowl linked to.

southeastastra Mon 04-Jan-10 20:50:02

we could just all hang around outside gary-lacey-campbell-beta-twatheads and egg him

wahwah Mon 04-Jan-10 20:50:02

This is just unacceptable. Anyone fancy turning up in person and asking them all about it? I'm in court in the morning, but should be done before lunch...

morningpaper Mon 04-Jan-10 20:52:30
morningpaper Mon 04-Jan-10 20:53:44
wahwah Mon 04-Jan-10 20:55:44

Oh yes, with something to get people 'takking' like 'men in advertising get coked up then beat and sexually humiliate their wives' see how they fucking like it !

morningpaper Mon 04-Jan-10 20:55:53
DorotheaPlenticlew Mon 04-Jan-10 20:56:38

Fox is right, and this is probably one of the places they'll look for evidence that it's working ... I'd say we should delete this thread but perhaps that's silly. Annoying, though, to imagine some saddo citing a thread on Mumsnet as proof that his/her "work" has had the desired effect.

MrsChemist Mon 04-Jan-10 20:56:40

We may be proving his point in a way, but I think general consensus is that anything controversial put out in the meeja is going to get attention, so it's not the fact that the ad is outside, it's the fact that it's upsetting people. So unless all their subsequent clients intend to alienate and offend customers with their advertising then they simply aren't going to see the same sort of numbers of people reacting to their adverts.

This sort of controversy works for admen advertising advertising space, but it won't work for advertisers advertising to customers IYKWIM.

Harriedandflustered Mon 04-Jan-10 20:56:45

Response from Boris, below. No response from the ASA yet

Subject: Sexist advertising campaigns on London Buses

The Mayor would like to thank you for your interest in his work and he is keen to answer your query as quickly and fully as possible. As you will appreciate, he receives very large amount of correspondence but he is committed to responding to your query within 20 working days.

However, the Greater London Authority (GLA) will only respond to queries that relate to its work and will refer relevant queries to the appropriate functional body for them to reply e.g. transport related queries will be referred to Transport for London (TfL).

Please note that the GLA does not accept unsolicited job applications or C.V's. Information on current vacancies is available on our website at: http://www.london.gov.uk/jobs.jsp

Thank you for taking the time to write to the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

Yours truly

Public Liaison Unit

foxinsocks Mon 04-Jan-10 20:56:52

lol wahwah

we might need to wrap that round the bus on both levels

morningpaper Mon 04-Jan-10 20:56:58
morningpaper Mon 04-Jan-10 20:57:59
WineBeforePearls Mon 04-Jan-10 21:00:41

I wonder whether we could start a fundraising thread to pay for one bus with 'Gary Lace, for example, is a ...' on the side.


Harriedandflustered Mon 04-Jan-10 21:01:38

'Gary Lace has a small one'

wahwah Mon 04-Jan-10 21:01:49

Agree with Mrs chemist-perhaps we should find out their clients and email them.

Harriedandflustered Mon 04-Jan-10 21:03:41

What we need is a facebook campaign

'Gary Lace, for example ...'

Will someone techno literate start one?

SydneyScarborough Mon 04-Jan-10 21:05:03

I'm for financing a rival campaign, but torn between slogans like the suggested "Gary Lace, for example.." or something more positive on the lines of "Mumsnet makes women good mothers" or summat.

I am totally up for emailing his clients. Anyone fancy writing a form letter / email?

Northernlebkuchen Mon 04-Jan-10 21:05:42

but foxinsocks - people would also talk about 'Beat up somebody who annoys you today' or 'Gay people should be <<insert nasty thing - I can't bring myself to>>' or anything about the holocaust....but they don't use that do they? No - because it's offensive. So why does that arguement that they want people to talk about it make it ok to attack women - because that's what this shit is. It's an attack and it makes me sick. Why isn't everybody offended by it - admen included? There's still a fucking long way to go sad

sushistar Mon 04-Jan-10 21:05:56

What a nasty advert. I am a sahm, it's what I believe is right for my kids, but to say ANY group are 'bad mothers' is a ridiculous generalisation. I'm sure some career women are bad mothers- as are some people with blonde hair, or some people who like Marmite.

Equally ridiculous are some of the comments on this thread that 'all admen are...'. Some of them are very nice and ethical I'm sure!

SydneyScarborough Mon 04-Jan-10 21:08:10

Target adwomen? Is that even a title? I wonder why not...hmm

Surely there is a Women in Advertising type organisation who should be targeted?

Harriedandflustered Mon 04-Jan-10 21:08:27

The thing about financing a rival campaign

Is that it costs money. Around £1.2m if figures are to be believed

The internet is the solution, I tell ya

SydneyScarborough Mon 04-Jan-10 21:12:04
Harriedandflustered Mon 04-Jan-10 21:12:08

What would really spell the death of the outdoor advertising campaign, eh?

An internet advertising campaign mobilising all the anti-chauvinists ...

It worked against Simon Cowell (and he is relatively attractive, which I'm betting Gary Twatface isn't)

SameAsYou Mon 04-Jan-10 21:14:08

I saw the billboards too its shocking

Dare him to do a webchat on here then you can eat him alive!

dittany Mon 04-Jan-10 21:14:56

The client is Alan James of the Outdoor Advertising Association:

"The two-week ‘Britain Thinks’ initiativ, led by the Outdoor Advertising Association, will include ads that read; ‘Career women make bad mothers’ and ‘1966- It won’t happen this year’ in reference to this year’s World Cup, in a bid to prove the impact of outdoor advertising.

The campaign hopes to demonstrate the power of outdoor advertising as a direct response medium with the ability to drive people online, according to Alan James, the chief executive of the OAA.

It aims to show an alternative to digital advertising and is based on research by Google that reveals offline activity is essential to driving people online.

The ads, created by Garry Lace and Robert Campbell’s agency Beta, also encourage individuals to join the discussion on dedicated microsite Britainthinks.com.

The campaign has been backed by leading outdoor media owners JCDecaux, CBS Outdoor, Clear Channel, Titan and Primesight."

SydneyScarborough Mon 04-Jan-10 21:15:32
Katz Mon 04-Jan-10 21:16:19

As others have said this statement with pretty much any other word before the 'make bad mothers' would have been banned so why was this statement acceptable?

foxinsocks Mon 04-Jan-10 21:16:28

well that's his point though surely northern - anything offensive will get people talking on line. There were the gay slurs by dear old daily mail mad woman recently.

He's got a bit of a dodgy past Lace. Always leaving companies under a bit of a cloud.

Harriedandflustered Mon 04-Jan-10 21:18:50

Linky not working - try this man with small penis

TheOldestCat Mon 04-Jan-10 21:20:42

What about 'Admen lie for a living'?

Harriedandflustered Mon 04-Jan-10 21:22:34

I really don't want to diss admen

after all Salman Rushdie coined 'Naughty But Nice'/ And didn't DL Sayers have a career in advertising?

Can't we just get specific about these admen?

SydneyScarborough Mon 04-Jan-10 21:24:25

there has to be some mileage in pointing out that he's no Don Draper, and that times have moved on..Sadmen, not Madmen...

<clutches at straws and searches for rhyming dictionary>

foxinsocks Mon 04-Jan-10 21:26:55

how long have they been out? I wonder if they will be pulled

the football one is far more tame

Harriedandflustered Mon 04-Jan-10 21:27:39

Oooh, why not

'Sadman not Adman'

with pitifully small penises for inverted commas?

morningpaper Mon 04-Jan-10 21:28:12

OK what about:


Except Salman Rushdie, who seems to do quite well for himself TBH

Not quite punchy enough

MrsChemist Mon 04-Jan-10 21:30:07

mp I think that slogan has panache grin

Scowl Mon 04-Jan-10 21:30:16

loving the mini knob inverted commas...

how could we integrate a clintonesque joke about the slight curve of the inverted commas ? wink

foxinsocks Mon 04-Jan-10 21:30:19

the football one is more likely to make you say oh fuck off

SydneyScarborough Mon 04-Jan-10 21:30:45

Snap Harried&Flustered !

SydneyScarborough Mon 04-Jan-10 21:34:26

Don Draper for compare and contrast purposes

LynetteScavo Mon 04-Jan-10 21:34:55

"The campaign hopes to demonstrate the power of outdoor advertising as a direct response medium with the ability to drive people online, according to Alan James, the chief executive of the OAA."

Well, it's damn well working!

foxinsocks Mon 04-Jan-10 21:35:47

considering they keep trying to kill the Allah cartoonists, I shouldn't think anyone who actually inhabits this century needs to make ads like this to prove that people get OFFENDED by what they see/read and then talk about it.

we shouldn't rise to it. Complain and they should pull the ad because it is offensive.

ultimately, if he needs to prove to clients that people get offended by ads, then I should hope they will show his backside to the door. It's not selling anything this ad. Just making him look at twat.

BelleDameSansMerci Mon 04-Jan-10 21:36:04

I saw this on the side of a bus shelter in Huddersfield today. Was fuming about it and am glad it's come up on here. I've complained to ASA.

Am just so angry that I can't be witty or clever about it.

foxinsocks Mon 04-Jan-10 21:37:24

look a twat not at a twat wink

LadyBlaBlah Mon 04-Jan-10 21:37:55

The lovely Gary


What a total imbecile

He deserves a package of dog shit on special delivery

No it isn't, it's demonstrating that offensive advertising will get people talking, whether that's outside, inside, upside down or sideways is irrelevant.

Harriedandflustered Mon 04-Jan-10 21:39:40

Actually foxy, you said 'look at twat'

Clearly though the man does enjoy looking at pornography, forgets his mother's birthday and doesn't clean his tummy button.

Imisssleeping Mon 04-Jan-10 21:39:41

Garry oh lovely Garry Lace

I would love to meet you

so I could punch you in the face.

foxinsocks Mon 04-Jan-10 21:41:55


I bet this thread will be wank fodder for him <vomit>

I'm almost tempted not to post on here any more in case it's giving him a rise

dittany Mon 04-Jan-10 21:42:28

I disagree that it's working Lynette. I think what it's showing is that misogyny is still very popular as a sales tool. It also shows that the members of the OAA have a lot of spare advertising space being that they are so desperate to sell their medium.

Does this make anybody think "Oooh if I was an advertiser I'd be straight on to the members of the OAA, to buy some bus advertising space" or "I fancy using that new agency Beta to design my adverts"?

It actually makes them look as if they are completely bereft of ideas and creativity.

SydneyScarborough Mon 04-Jan-10 21:43:56

Have you got my rhyming dictionary Imisssleeping? grin

LadyBlaBlah Mon 04-Jan-10 21:44:02

He doesn't seem like a man of integrity - sniffs of desperation

"High drama across the sea: Lowe London CEO Gary Lace has resigned after serving a suspension for reportedly meeting with agency founder Frank Lowe, who last year ended his retirement to found a new agency and grabbed some of his old companys best accounts in doing so. The agency and Lace arent commenting beyond confirming that he is out."

From here:


Imisssleeping Mon 04-Jan-10 21:46:25

Yes Sydney but spelt Gary wrong so need another dictionary!
Thought my rhyme was Oscar winning grin

SydneyScarborough Mon 04-Jan-10 21:47:05

Agree, it is fucking lame stuff anyway, it's not even controversial in an interesting way.

It certainly doesn't flag them up as particularly cutting edge or zeitgeisty or whatever the fuck they would like to be commended for.

SydneyScarborough Mon 04-Jan-10 21:49:09

No, I think his Mum spelt Gary wrong! Perhaps she was too busy with her career to really be bothered...

StayFrosty Mon 04-Jan-10 21:49:51

this is why i am always hmm at threads where people go 'oh we don't need feminism any more, we have equality'. but as people have said, no way would anyone countenance a 'controversial' statement like that about any other group of people. sexism = funny and ironic, homophobia or racism = Not On.

LadyBlaBlah Mon 04-Jan-10 21:50:50

The guy is a total pig, and what would you expect from a pig but a grunt?

[http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/advertising/flushed-with-pride-once-the-star-of -adland-garry-lace-isnt-ashamed-to-sell-billboards-in-toilets-914406.html]]

Says he has a son..........lets hope his 'career' wife dumped him for someone slimmer and more crazy creative

Littlefish Mon 04-Jan-10 21:54:15

I saw this on a huge billboard outside the station today. I couldn't believe my eyes. There was a website address on it too.


Imisssleeping Mon 04-Jan-10 21:55:05

Gary oh Gary Lace

you are such a stupid slob

I know I could beat you in a race

again I would punch you in the face

but this time I would use a bit of mace

mmm think it's time to go to bed!!!

dittany Mon 04-Jan-10 21:55:14

There are places on the britainthinks website to suggest new topics for discussion.

I got as far as Garry Lace is a twat.....

LadyBlaBlah Mon 04-Jan-10 21:56:22

Damn, just gave them a hit by following that link!

StayFrosty Mon 04-Jan-10 21:57:53

lol at imisssleeping, you should be mumsnet laureate.

LadyBlaBlah Mon 04-Jan-10 21:58:26

I have just put forward that as a suggested topic too, Dittany

"they are currently considering my topic suggestion"


Mithered Mon 04-Jan-10 22:00:17

My blood is boiling but am trying to compose a rational complaint to the ASA. How about the Equality Commission too? The issue is that women are being specifically targetted by the advertising agency.

I understand what the point of it is but the issue is that it is a contraversial subject. Any contraversial subject will get people talking. It doesn't mean that if I advertise my new Tenalady product on the side of the fucking bus that everyone is going to go out and start talking about it does it.

I make it a rule never to wrestle a pig. You only get dirty and the pig likes it. Therefore I have no comment on this twattery. grin

However the greatest insult to an advertiser is simple silence, if you ignore it, they have no power. They lose their money and have to go get a proper job. Like mine - ha!

It is offensive but then I find almost everything Nick Griffin says offensive too - and I choose not to listen and park him in the spot in my brain marked 'loony'

Buses are the new place to hang your personal prejudice don't you know wink. That is, once MorningPaper has finished scrapping with my DH on the commentisfree ( or is it crap/cheap, I never remember) site over the athiest buses.

LadyBlaBlah Mon 04-Jan-10 22:05:58

I have submitted a few interesting topics regarding Garry Lace now - brightening up my snow filled night!

I am thinking they won't be up for discussion anytime soon

I know silence is the most sensible option choc.....but insults are fun

mii Mon 04-Jan-10 22:06:32

oh please please please can somebody set up a fund that we can donate to and run our own counter ad

dittany Mon 04-Jan-10 22:06:48

The thing is these people are polluting the public space with their bigotry. If it was just one guy shouting it, that's possible to ignore, but they are insulting hundreds of thousands if not millions of women daily, and encouraging others to do the same.

If it was a racist slogan people would not be cool about it.

LadyBlaBlah Mon 04-Jan-10 22:09:39

Surely Ms Harman might be worth a knock?

Harriedandflustered Mon 04-Jan-10 22:11:00

I did try to write a haiku for Garry Lace but I failed utterly. Partly because I feel sure that our Garry isn't a sufficiently delicate subject for a haiku. He's more of a limerick man, I feel

So here it is

An underendowed adman Garry Lace
Saw his career founder through disgrace
He tried to redeem himself by penning an ad
Which was lame and bitter and sadder than sad
So the campaign failed and he lost more face

The lonely old adman took out his measure
And found to his shame that he'd lost an inch off his treasure
Which was hard for him to bear
You see, he had so little to spare
And not even his hand could now give him pleasure

SydneyScarborough Mon 04-Jan-10 22:12:11


Poetry is clearly our best weapon here!

LadyBlaBlah Mon 04-Jan-10 22:12:49

<<<<round of applause>>>>

The sad thing is that if they really wanted to generate debate and traffic to their silly site, they could have done it without being quite so offensive - just

'Career Women make bad mothers? Discuss at xxxx'

would have done it.

Presenting it as a fact rather than an opinion to be discussed means that they probably did just want shock value, controversy, outcry, and publicity for their grubby little agency.

Sad, sad little men.

To make the mums go round the bend
Garry put a bus advert at each end
It drove us demented
We were so resented
By a man who set out to offend

It's a shame we can't stay at home
But to pay all our bills we must roam
To office, to work, to earn daily bread
It's not only men at the household's head

And clearly your head Mr Lace is full of air
To put out a slogan so silly and unfair
To contemplate such a crass hackneyed shockery
Of advertising skill you have made a mockery.

So scuttle along to your next job my dear
Some eejit will probably hire you I fear
Let's face it your talent's as long as your cock
And may I just finish by saying 'sod off'!

MrsChemist Mon 04-Jan-10 22:21:03

They clearly want to generate traffic to their website, but it took over a hundred posts on here before anyone even linked it, so it can't be that effective.

Scowl Mon 04-Jan-10 22:22:19

Wealthy 'adman' Lace
Mispelled Garry? Possible
Disdain on Mumsnet

I love a thread that descends into haiku wink

MrsChemist Mon 04-Jan-10 22:23:13

Garry Lace adman
is for example a twat
he needs a kicking

foxinsocks Mon 04-Jan-10 22:23:21

LOL whomoved, that is brilliant.

LadyBlaBlah Mon 04-Jan-10 22:25:54

you are v. talented Choc. But, horror of horrors, I do hope you are not a career mother, and like, you put your talent to some use

SydneyScarborough Mon 04-Jan-10 22:28:52

Yeah, let's mount a coordinated haiku attack on their website please.

MrsChemist Mon 04-Jan-10 22:32:12

Offensive advert
makes women feel a bit shit
adman is a cock

Harriedandflustered Mon 04-Jan-10 22:33:37

Snow falls and Garry sings
Offkey, alone, reviled

I was a career mother but now I'm a career manager and fuck up my co-workers lives with my frustration and anger instead of my children's. grin

p.s. I need more minions. If anyone wants to suffer join me. wink

Scowl Mon 04-Jan-10 22:34:53

lol mrs chemist

DuelingFanjo Mon 04-Jan-10 22:35:33

What a crock of shit.

And mrscrocoduck you can't have an opinion on the best way to to raise children and then try to back down by saying it only applies if it's a viable choice. Either working mothers are bad for children or they are not.

Harriedandflustered Mon 04-Jan-10 22:37:07

WMMC - I am open to offers

But not from Garry

DuelingFanjo Mon 04-Jan-10 22:37:17

Oh and... IMO when there is an economic crisis the first thing governments, the press etc do is try to demonise women who work. I wouldn't be surprised if this was all a part of that.

Seriously harried - CAT me!

Scowl Mon 04-Jan-10 22:39:28

Pankhursts do not turn
Garry Lace have some bollocks
Apologise now

catinthehat2 Mon 04-Jan-10 22:42:48

For anyone who has an outdoor billboard they don't like nearby, paint and stepladders are not necessary if the lowest corner is at all accessible. There are a few around like this

It is very possible to pick the corner up and tear that poster and quite satisfactorily deface it to quite a height- seen it done. Even a long flat rip makes it look rubbish.

The poster site owner is going to be as unhappy as the advertiser if his ads are shown to be vulnerable.

Harriedandflustered Mon 04-Jan-10 22:45:38

I so want to dress in black leggings and a black polo necked jumper and black catwoman mask and DEFACE all these posters

WMMC - thank you but I am a career bitch mother already. Please don't phone social services.

mrsbaldwin Mon 04-Jan-10 22:47:18

I just finished whirling up another AK pasta sauce grin and thought I would look on here to see if anyone saw my post from earlier. Blimey! They did!

Tomorrow I will call the ASA, the Equalities Commission, the Govt Equalities Office (Harriet H) to get some advice on what to do - because I would like to complain on the grounds that the ad is discriminatory or even an incitement to hatred. If I find out anything useful I will post it on here - I see some ppl have already complained to ASA which is great.

But obviously this is all behaving properly.

I feel like Garry Lace and his creative pals could also benefit from feeling the power of some (legal) direct action. Like a shedload of dirty nappies landing on the floor of the ad agency offices. Although what's the betting Garry himself won't pick them up ...

And I would also like for him and his agency not to be able to go to future clients and say 'hey look we got all this debate going with our crazy controvvverrrsial ads, so hire us' but instead to lose accounts.

I also think the Outdoor Advertising Association must want their heads seeing to. I would like to know what the billboard firms who subscribe to it think their association is doing. They all take ads from the likes of M&S, John Lewis, supermarkets - where mums shop. It seems good sense to point out to those firms that these billboards are offensive. It would make me ever so happy if one of the big retailers were to threaten to pull its advertising as a consequence of this stupid ad.

Garry Lace would not so much have the Beta ad agency then, as the Zilcho ad agency.

Anyway more on this tomorrow ...

annh Mon 04-Jan-10 22:48:45

Have submitted my complaint to ASA - somewhat reluctantly, as of course, this is demonstrating just what T%^tface Gary wanted to prove - that advertising works and drives people online. However, my desire to get rid of this piece of sexist rubbish outweighs that consideration. Off to email Women in Advertising now to ask them if they were aware that they are all bad mothers?!

dittany Mon 04-Jan-10 22:49:51

He needs to be taught that he can't get his "controversy" on the backs of women.

brightonpebble Mon 04-Jan-10 22:50:03

agree 100% Mrs B. Look fwd to tomorrow's posts! Goodnight.

annh Mon 04-Jan-10 22:59:13

Have just looked at the Women in Advertising and Communications website and realised that while it fails to provide a generic contact address, it does helpfully provide a list of all the members on their executive and their email addresses. Looking at the list, I'm sure more than a few of them must be mothers. One of them is also MD of a division of JCDecaux which is apparently one of the companies backing the Beta campaign. You have to hope this campaign proposal didn't come across her desk. Sadly, it's now quite late and I don't think I could type correctly much less form a coherent arguement so I'll have to leave my email to them until tomorrow.

dittany Mon 04-Jan-10 23:03:13

Am I alone in thinking Beta isn't a very good name for an advertising agency? As if someone already had first dibs on Alpha.

It sounds like the name of the losing team in Donald Trump's Apprentice.

HerBeatitude Mon 04-Jan-10 23:30:31

I suspect a disproportionate number of women in that group (Women in Advertising) are in fact not mothers - because it's bloody hard to be one in that sexist industry.

Strix Mon 04-Jan-10 23:59:03

All he has proven is that controversial ads attract controversy. How profound. hmm

If I went on the telly and said said "All admen have little penises" I'm pretty sure it would be talked about. But that wouldn't make me a clever or powerful adwoman.

I agree with WhoMovedMyChocolate.

I remember a network developing a series called 'the Book of Dave'. It was about an Episcopalian Minister who had a gay son. It was supposed to be soooo controversial and I have no doubt they were hoping the Episcopalian Church would kick up a stink and generate a lot of publicity for them.

The Episcopalian Church resprentative said 'we welcome anything that starts a discussion about the church' and that was that.

Haven't heard of the series? That's because it only lasted one episode. No one watched it.

I really think ignoring this ad is the best way to go.

Britainthinks Tue 05-Jan-10 00:13:01

We'd welcome the dirty nappies...
We'd also welcome all of you onto our site.Log onto www.britainthinks.com.Don't just tell each other what you think,tell Britain.You could even suggest a topic for discussion.We'd suggest the following;
Is Mumsnet giving airtime to politicians to influence government policy or to feather its own PR nest?
We are,after all,one nation with 60 million opinions.

MsKiki Tue 05-Jan-10 00:32:25

I saw the ad and, as an ex-career woman who decided to be a stay-at-home mum, went to the website to have a look. To be fair, the website isn't either supporting or promoting this point of view; it's simply a forum for people to air or share their ideas (a bit like these message boards!)There's a whole bunch of other topics on it including climate change, Tiger Woods, whether democracy is dead and - should anyone care - whether we'll finally win the world cup this year... Given that the Daily Mail is always banging on about working mums spawning ASBO-collecting delinquents, I quite like the fact that there's somewhere that we can offer a different point of view.It's a really important debate to be had so I welcome the fact that there's somewhere else where we can talk about this. It's got us all fired up so maybe as well as talking about this here we should have the discussion on the BritainThinks site? We could go and dump dirty nappies in Beta's offices but I doubt very much that the ad agency actually thinks career women make mothers. Their job is simply to promote a website which is designed to provide a mouthpiece for points of view. We'd be better off putting a point of view on the site - and saving the dirty nappies for whatever idiot actually posts a piece in supprt of the idea that we can't work and bring up children.

Why would I want to go to a website that stirs up controversy purely to get people to visit it? It would be like supporting a bunch of trolls.

mrsbaldwin Tue 05-Jan-10 06:58:26

I just read the post by BritainThinks (the ad agency behind the horrible 'career mothers' slogan)

BritainThinks wrote: 'Don't just tell each other what you think???'

Er ... we're not. This is a public space. Anyone can look - and they do (see numerous press articles pulling material from here). You're looking. And whoever told you we were discussing it on here was looking. Anyway I should think Mumsnet page view ratings etc whoop the a* off anything the Beta ad agency BritainThinks website could ever achieve. If all publicity is good publicity better we debate the slogans here - more people are gonna read about it, frankly.

You'd like to drive traffic to your website to demonstrate to the Outdoor Ad Assn that billboards generate online traffic.

But those who like to debate politics on the internet already have lots of spaces where they can do this (including Mumsnet, but also the websites of any newspaper or blogger, plus specific forums)

So, once those who have the energy have complained variously to the Outdoor Ad Assn, its constituent members, some of their key clients, the ASA, the Equalities Commission and so on let's see if that produces clicks for the BritainThinks website and increased business for the billboard companies ... or not.

Back later, with some names, addresses, telephone numbers and so on...

FlightAttendant Tue 05-Jan-10 07:24:14

Welcome to Mumsnet, Mskiki.....

FlightAttendant Tue 05-Jan-10 07:25:41

...and it doesn't take a genius to understand that this is all about money.

nighbynight Tue 05-Jan-10 07:34:32

What a stupid campaign. It could have been witty, amusing, clever, thought-provoking - but no, it's just stupid and mean.

DorotheaPlenticlew Tue 05-Jan-10 08:15:57

Gee, MsKiki, you're so subtle hmm

bronze Tue 05-Jan-10 08:32:32

MsKiki if they wanted to promote discussion from the other side then surely ' career women make fantastic mothers,, discuss' would have been coming from the other direction

sarah293 Tue 05-Jan-10 08:36:55

its a meme. Until all women are driven back into the home.

GooseyLoosey Tue 05-Jan-10 08:48:21

You pick on a minority group in society, but one that is capable of vocal expression and say derrogatory things about them. They respond. That is not advertising. You are not promoting any product or client you are being deliberately controversial. Anyone can do this through any form of mass media, its easy and requires little intelligence.

Of course any group targeted in this way will comment on it and, in this day and age, will do so on the internet. What they will not do is to be so impressed by the power of advertising that they will go on to buy the soap powder advertised on the same bill board next week. The most likely outcome is the the soap powder advert will be ignored, either because people were insulted by the previous advert or because it is boring by comparisson.

Do admen really lack the basic intelligence to work this out for themselves?

EffiePerine Tue 05-Jan-10 09:09:17

What an arse. Agree that the last thing yoiu want to do is generate any traffic for that website.

Any links on companies using these agencies?

smallorange Tue 05-Jan-10 09:10:16

You're right mskiki - let's drive some more traffic onto their stupid fucking website. Let's suck it up and decide that actually, you know, despite being downright offensive, that ad actually, y'know, sparks debate and shit....so it's fine.

How patronising

how would you feel if you had just left your child in daycare for the first time because you have to goback to work, and you get on that bus with that ad on the side?

How would you feel if you were being forced to pick up extra shifts because your husband has been made redundant?

You lot at the ad agency do not live in the real world.

TheCrackFox Tue 05-Jan-10 09:14:01

I am a SAHM and I find this advert totally offensive. I am stunned that this is allowed.

If anyone has a list of companies that use this advertising agency I will be more than happy to boycott their products.

EffiePerine Tue 05-Jan-10 09:15:09

actually the ad doesn't upset me, it just makes me ANGRY. And vindictive. Not the response Gazza is looking for in an internet age... is this being twittered or tweeted or whatever it is as well?

bronze Tue 05-Jan-10 09:28:34

Crackfox you're not the only SAHM riled by it.
I would love to complain to all the relevent bodies but am rubbish at letter writing, if anyone wants to give me a draft I can use I would very much appreciate it.

OrmIrian Tue 05-Jan-10 09:35:21

Oooh I've thought of a new one!

'Advertising agencies are staffed by wankers!"


How about, to parallel the original's interesting combination of offensiveness with lack of causal evidence,
"Fat men make bad ads"? grin

GetOrfMoiLand Tue 05-Jan-10 09:42:58

I said to DP last night that I had a strong urge to go up to London and storm the buses with loads of yellow paint. DD went 'yeah' and got all excited, we were banging on about how disgraceful the ad was.

DP made us a soothing cup of tea, he had a vaguely scared look in his eyes.

DD was very sweet, got all earnest about it like teenagers will. 'How can they do that on London buses, I mean LONDON buses, do they not think people will go mad!'.

She also said 'have you spoke to mumsnet about it' - I think she knows what this place is like!

morningpaper Tue 05-Jan-10 09:44:25


These people are PAID to be trolls

It's so lame

DorotheaPlenticlew Tue 05-Jan-10 09:50:20

Loving it, Awesome Wellies

morningpaper Tue 05-Jan-10 09:52:08

So can you get arrested for defacing an ad? I always seem to get carried away with things and end up with a legal case...

I wonder if there are any women in that advertising agency. Hmm.

I wonder if the men that thought it up had working mothers Hmmm.

Perhaps its just one of those controversial adverts to get everyone talking again.


MintyCan Tue 05-Jan-10 10:01:02

ARGh now that makes me really angry ! I think i would deface that ad even if I was arrested. angry

DorotheaPlenticlew Tue 05-Jan-10 10:01:36

Can you get arrested for helping a tiny child to deface an ad? Wondering if I could somehow winch DS (2) up to ad height using a primitive pulley system ... put him in a little basket with his finger paints and let him go to work. Unfortunately he's too young to be able to write "bollocks", but I could give him a supply of the stickers MP linked earlier.

MintyCan Tue 05-Jan-10 10:04:59

The trouble is that this is exactly what they want - we are all talking about it - bastards. angry

justaboutandhernewbaby Tue 05-Jan-10 10:05:13

I think the best way is to dupe some local illiterate hoodlums into thinking that it is an ad to encourage a later school-leaving age, then leave them to do their work.

foxinsocks Tue 05-Jan-10 10:06:36

you can complain to the Advertising Standards bods. THeir link is further down the thread.

morningpaper Tue 05-Jan-10 10:07:56

I don't think it breaches any advertising codes unfortunately!

Highlander Tue 05-Jan-10 10:08:12

good campaign; as judged by the frothing on this thread.

foxinsocks Tue 05-Jan-10 10:08:25

it's offensive

that's good enough for me

DorotheaPlenticlew Tue 05-Jan-10 10:11:43

MintyCan, Highlander: as others have pointed out earlier, the talk here and the "frothing" is a response to the offensive statement, but that's not really a mark of the campaign succeeding; what they actually want is to prove that outdoor advertising has impact. All they have proved is that controversy has impact. That's not really gonna surprise anyone, is it?

foxinsocks Tue 05-Jan-10 10:12:33

in fact, I think ads that offend is one of their categories (for complaints)

my children haven't seen the ads yet but given that we live in London at some point they will

I can't imagine they will feel very happy when they do

luckily, they know most ads are bollocks anyway grrr

morningpaper Tue 05-Jan-10 10:14:07

It has to cause "widespread offence" but TBH hurting the egos of some working mothers is unlikely to fall into that category

DorotheaPlenticlew Tue 05-Jan-10 10:15:59

How about "Sexist men make bad fathers"?

morningpaper Tue 05-Jan-10 10:20:06

"Sexist fathers make bad role models"

foxinsocks Tue 05-Jan-10 10:24:13

hasn't hurt my ego

I just think, like northern said below somewhere, mothers (whether working or not) are just an easy target

had they used a sexual grouping or race say 'lesbians make bad mothers', the ad would have been pulled already (in fact, it wouldn't have made it to the bus!)

ChickensHaveFrozenNuggets Tue 05-Jan-10 10:25:00

It just deserves a two fingered salute really, doesn't it?

MintyCan Tue 05-Jan-10 10:25:02

Good point Dorothea.

morningpaper Tue 05-Jan-10 10:26:39

The ASA will take nine months to say:

"The Council concluded that the statement is clearly a parody of one person's opinion, in order to encourage people to join a discussion website. The complaints were not upheld"

mrscrocoduck Tue 05-Jan-10 10:26:44

it's pathetic to get upset by this. The ad says 'career women' the inference being women who put their careers first, not women who work because they have to or work part time or flexible hours, etc. 'Career women' refers to a woman who's career takes first place over her family. At its expense. And before anyone prattles on about men being allowed careers think about it with a little more depth.

Your collective (and largely unfounded) guilt at having kids and then working so you're not with them is what's making you mad.

Unless you are a career woman who cares more about her job, but then you probably wouldn't be on mumsnet.

morningpaper Tue 05-Jan-10 10:27:19

I keep reading mrscrocoduck as "mr micro cock"


Ronaldinhio Tue 05-Jan-10 10:29:27

turgid obvious button pushing wank

MintyCan Tue 05-Jan-10 10:29:36


mrscrocoduck have you met Xenia yet?

FlightAttendant Tue 05-Jan-10 10:49:30

OhI have met Mrscroco before I think on here

I am sure it was under similar circumstances.

thumper76 Tue 05-Jan-10 10:50:21

I think the point of this statement was to get people debating, which is exactly what you guys are doing. Why don't you go and 'have your say' as the ad suggests on britainthinks.com?

FlightAttendant Tue 05-Jan-10 10:51:19

Oh yes it was the boarding school thread

she doesn't bother to read, just comments randomly in an insulting and presumptuous manner...ime

mrsbaldwin Tue 05-Jan-10 10:52:32

Just started my little round of phone calls to officialdom so that no-one can say the obvious channels haven't been covered off. I'll report on this in a bit.

Remember though, the point of this stupid campaign is to:
*drive traffic to the BritainThinks ad agency website
*later, sell more outdoor ad space (because firms will be able to be shown evidence that outdoor ads generate online traffic *to a specific location*)

I think it could be useful to target some efforts at emailing the Directors of Marketing (who buy the ad space) and CEOs of firms who buy billboard space to ask them to think twice about spending money with these firms - M&S and John Lewis being two good examples of those who do outdoor campaigns. Email links and a draft model email for those who would like one, shortly.

FlightAttendant Tue 05-Jan-10 10:52:39

Thumper, your first post on here has not even been indexed yet

we are being spammed

foxinsocks Tue 05-Jan-10 10:53:25

we're not debating whether career women make bad mothers

we're talking about what a shit idea it was for a campaign

OrmIrian Tue 05-Jan-10 10:53:30

Ok we are all talking about it and (mostly) agreeing it's shite. And other people will be talking about it and agreeing with it's sentiments. So too sides stuck in their trenches. How exactly does that help with the debate?

"I think the point of this statement was to get people debating, which is exactly what you guys are doing. Why don't you go and 'have your say' as the ad suggests on britainthinks.com?"

Actually the orginal remit was to prove that outdoor advertising does work, this does not fulfil the remit as posting something like this ANYWHERE would get a reaction.

FlightAttendant Tue 05-Jan-10 10:55:17

o they get pay-per-hit over on Br*tain w*nks.com?

Ronaldinhio Tue 05-Jan-10 10:56:09

"I'd rather fellate a daschund than be riled by Garry Lace's advertisement"

OrmIrian Tue 05-Jan-10 10:56:17

You could post 'All men are rapists' on a bus. So what? It doesn't prove anything apart from the being offensive causes offence. Big deal.

Ronaldinhio Tue 05-Jan-10 10:58:11

"all men are rapists"

gagamama Tue 05-Jan-10 10:58:43

I want my counter-ad to say "It's cold outside, go home". Less people outside equals less people to view outdoor advertising, and potential advertisers would be alerted to the ineffective nature of the outdoor advertising and go advertise on the telly or internet or something. I think that would ultimately ruin them.

It would've almost been clever if they'd double-bluffed and put something like "Nobody reads bus ads". Every time you saw it you'd be like "but I just did!" and would be made to think about bus advertising as a medium.

Ronaldinhio Tue 05-Jan-10 10:58:52

x post orm

greygoose Tue 05-Jan-10 11:00:27

Ronaldinhio with comments like that you need locking up

foxinsocks Tue 05-Jan-10 11:02:56

yes FA, i imagine they'll be measuring the success by how many people click on their site

HerBeatitude Tue 05-Jan-10 11:03:27

Gagamama that talentless dick will lift that idea you mark my words

MrsNarcissist Tue 05-Jan-10 11:06:36

It's a great idea for a campaign. Perhaps most people in the ad dept that may decide to advertise on a bus are working mothers, certainly would get their attention. Who cares if some people believe the slogan, these people are unlikely to be working mothers or the children of working mothers. These people have justified their choice, and again and then justified it again. I am certain this will do no harm.

mrsbaldwin Tue 05-Jan-10 11:08:33

Update from my phone calls:

I just called the Outdoor Advertising Association to ask them what they were playing at.

Alan James chief exec of the Outdoor Advertising Association is on holiday (allegedly). (If this is actually true it confirms my suspicion that they are a bit of a tinpot organisation - you have an office staffed by about three people, you just spent £1.25m on an ad campaign likely to generate controversy and then you go on holiday?)

But his deputy is currently doing a TV interview (on this topic).

Good news - because if the mainstream press have picked up the gauntlet then that leaves some time to compose a draft email to John Lewis, M&S etc before I have to go to work.

I've also logged a call with the Equalities Commission BTW, for some advice on whether there is anyway to get this taken down/fined etc for contravening sex discrimination law.

FlightAttendant Tue 05-Jan-10 11:09:08

I liked Ronaldinhio's quote grin

Ronaldinhio Tue 05-Jan-10 11:18:33

thanks flight
types from prison cell

MrsChemist Tue 05-Jan-10 11:19:09

Oh please, this ad will just make a bunch of misogynistic twats think "see! it's true because it was on the side of a bus!" You simply cannot have people going about thinking their idiot ideas are justifiable, which is what this will do.

It will also make many working women feel fucking miserable and/or angry. I'm not a working mum and it's made me livid. Also, what about the children of working mothers, going to school on these buses. Don't you think it will have an impact on them? A lot of children might not be old enough to understand it's meant to provoke debate on some dumbarse website.

Do no harm, my arse.

Although, the fact that they told us to go and discuss it over there makes me think that they are measuring the success of this campaign on the hits on their website. Hopefully.

OrmIrian Tue 05-Jan-10 11:20:31

Not sure that it's worse than 'career women make bad mothers' anyway. The problem with both slogans is the generalisation. Some men are rapists in the same way as some women are bad mothers. That wouldn't have been a problem.

mrsbaldwin Tue 05-Jan-10 11:21:35

[MrsBaldwin strikes gold]

On the Outdoor Advertising Agency's website there is a list of the Top 20 outdoor advertisers in 2009.

The full list with sums spent etc is here:

But here is the list pasted below for ease of reading.

Look at them - Coca Cola, Tesco, Macdonalds, KFC, Kelloggs ....

But COI at No 4 is spending *taxpayer's money*! For those who may not know, COI stands for the Central Office of Information - it's essentially the Government's advertising agency (benefit ads, swine flu ads etc) are all contracted out to private sector ad firms through COI.


Just finding some clickthrough links for contacts at some of these that seem most immediately relevant to mums like Tesco etc (although on second thoughts maybe that actually is the big brewers teehee)

FlyingReindeer Tue 05-Jan-10 11:21:59

Thanks for all your efforts MrsB. I hope you get somewhere.


This makes me REALLLLLLLY angry.

I have to work right now (ha ha).

But ladies, will be joining you on complaints later. And will happily help organise boycotts etc.

How fucking dare they.

MrsNarcissist Tue 05-Jan-10 11:28:14

I really don't think children will even notice. And for those that may I think they will either be old enough to query or to already know it's to provoke.

Talk about storm in a tea cup.

SkipToMyLou Tue 05-Jan-10 11:35:31

Seeing as they want me to get all angry and righteous, I think my reaction has to be a big fat biscuit. Which is probably an over-reaction, frankly.

Harriedandflustered Tue 05-Jan-10 11:44:29

Mrs Crocoduck - you say "it's pathetic to get upset by this. The ad says 'career women' the inference being women who put their careers first, not women who work because they have to or work part time or flexible hours, etc. 'Career women' refers to a woman who's career takes first place over her family. At its expense. And before anyone prattles on about men being allowed careers think about it with a little more depth."

I have a problem with your definitions here. I don't agree with you that a career woman is one who puts their career ahead of their family. I think a career woman is a woman in possession of a career. I resent the notion that any woman with a career makes a bad mother. And I don't see why my husband's career should take precedence over mine and I totally fail to understand why his right to a career is unquestioned and mine is up for debate.

gagamama Tue 05-Jan-10 11:46:37

Have just suggested the topic "Should we boycott companies who advertise with unethical agencies?" on their plebsite. grin

DorotheaPlenticlew Tue 05-Jan-10 11:46:49

God, the transparent trolls on this thread aren't trying very hard, are they?

You fool nobody, m'dears.

gagamama Tue 05-Jan-10 11:47:58

But now will NOT be going back on there again, obviously. blush

MrsChemist Tue 05-Jan-10 11:49:29

I still believe it's worth complaining about because some people are incredibly upset about it. It's lazy, ill thought out advertising at it's best.

As others have said, if it was based on race/religion etc. it wouldn't have even been allowed to make it onto the buses. Working women shouldn't be seen as easy targets.

DorotheaPlenticlew Tue 05-Jan-10 11:51:52

It's true, MrsChemist; it's so apparent that the only reason they lighted on this slogan was because it was deeply offensive but not in a way that is officially Not Allowed (eg stirring up racial hatred or some such). Cynical and twattish.

gagamama Tue 05-Jan-10 11:54:07

Interesting that their list of top clients is mainly comprised of junk food manufacturers, alcohol manufacturers, and mobile phone companies - a certain 'lower class' of brands, if you will. Shouldn't be hard for most of us classy ladies to boycott this rubbish. grin

foxinsocks Tue 05-Jan-10 11:55:37

I'm not going to click on their website

I'm not upset by it but am surprised that people can't see it's worth complaining.

Women are perceived as a soft target and that will only change if we stand up for ourselves. I would feel the same if they had felt it necessary to target any other group too tbh. It's just unnecessary.

mrsbaldwin Tue 05-Jan-10 12:00:11

A model email to copy and paste or amend, to send to bosses of companies who spend a lot on outdoor advertising.

This one to Tesco to be sent to the PA of Sir Terry Leahy the chief exec.

The email address is:
(I post this on here with apologies to you Anna Margot, who are entirely innocent and may be about to get a lot of mail!)

Dear Sir Terry (or other name)

I'm writing about an advertising campaign currently running on billboards and in other outdoor spaces around the UK.

I know that Tesco (or other name) spends a lot each year on outdoor advertising. I spend a lot each year in your stores.

The campaign uses the slogan 'career women make bad mothers' which I feel is not only untrue, but also patronising/offensive/degrading/cheap (add your own adjective here!).

I hope that Tesco, which serves many other women shoppers like me feels as disappointed by this tired campaign as I do. I hope you will carefully consider my comments when next reviewing your outdoor advertising spend.

Many thanks

"Interesting that their list of top clients is mainly comprised of junk food manufacturers, alcohol manufacturers, and mobile phone companies - a certain 'lower class' of brands, if you will. Shouldn't be hard for most of us classy ladies to boycott this rubbish"

Have you read mumsnet ?

gagamama Tue 05-Jan-10 12:16:29

Well OK. I meant shit alchohol like lager and alcopops, not wine. wink

WilfSell Tue 05-Jan-10 12:22:35

Fuck me, I can't believe I missed this.

Appalling crass nonsense. They chose mothers for two reasons I imagine:

1. Because they know they can get away with it in a way they couldn't with other groups facing inequalities.

2. Because - perhaps - they knew MN would pick it up?

That cynical manipulation really fucks me right off and unless the Big Guns pick it up (ASA, Equalities and HRC, govt etc) then they have to be played at their own game.

I think we need the MN Campaigns team to make this shite their first campaign... Who is Very Very Rich on MN who can fund a counter-offensive? Oh, OK. No-one. Back to the drawing board.

mrsbaldwin Tue 05-Jan-10 12:34:40

Wilfsell - I'm not sure I agree they thought MN would pick it up. These are 1980s admen we're talking about here. They clearly don't have much internet literacy or they would have realised that whilst consumers may well be driven online by advertising (to view a commercial, get a money-off voucher, get product info etc), I'm not sure they're driven online to discuss politics in moribund spaces created by ad agencies specifically for the purpose (as opposed to newspaper sites, blogs etc). Purchasers of billboard advertising will want to see evidence that ads drive punters to their websites, not to Mumsnet!!

I'd like to see the campaign strategy. Any of you trolls from the Zeta Beta Ad Agency care to come over to the dark side and show us the original plan?

But anyway I digress:

Here is another contact address for one of the Top 20 billboard advertisers who mums buy a lot of products from - Kelloggs

Chris Wermann, UK Director of Corporate Communication (ie he holds the purse strings for Kelloggs UK ad spend)
Email: chris.wermann@kellogg.com

Obviously the model letter for Tesco I posted a bit earlier will also work for him.

I've put calls into GLAXO (owns Aquafresh, Macleans, Panadol, Lucozade, Ribena etc) and UNILEVER (owns Persil and lots of other cleaning products as well as food brands) - addresses as I get them.

(I'll deal with COI (the Govt ad agency separately) because although they have a chief exec, that person is answerable to a Minister and I want to check who that is. Also they need a slightly different model email. More on this later.)

domesticslattern Tue 05-Jan-10 12:48:16

One of these has sprouted directly opposite DD's nursery. I nearly headbutted it this morning.

Since the wording is:
Career women make bad parents.

I suggest that our graffiti should be along the lines of:

"Gratuitously insulting x % of the population with a combined annual spending power of £x makes very bad advertising."

Now, I have been surfing the ONS site for a while and am finding it hard to fill in those gaps, can anyone else help?

Then I'm going to get some printed up and start flyering them around local bus stops. Blu tack only though- I am a polite graffiti artist. But I really really can't bear to see this sort of misgynost wank every morning and afternoon without doing something. And whiffling on a britainthinks website just ain't happening. As others say, hit em in the wallet.

EffiePerine Tue 05-Jan-10 12:51:38

sterling work there mrs b

and totally agree with sub-standard internet literacy on the part of Garrry and his pals

having a dig at working mothers is not big or clever, even if it is legal angry

EffiePerine Tue 05-Jan-10 12:53:22


I'm sure we could come up with some devastatingly polite graffiti (non-permanent and reversible)

ChickensHaveFrozenNuggets Tue 05-Jan-10 12:57:43

domesticslattern - Loving your work <nods approvingly>

DorotheaPlenticlew Tue 05-Jan-10 13:01:14

Thanks to mrsbaldwin and domesticslattern. Feel I should be doing more but will send my complaints, at least.

domesticslattern Tue 05-Jan-10 13:01:25

I would have made a shit suffragette effie.

Er, excuse me, I have tied myself to this railing but only with a very flimsy piece of ribbon which can easily be unknotted, so sorry to be in your way, excuse me...

LadyBlaBlah Tue 05-Jan-10 13:03:15

domesticslattern- loving it too.

Not sure there is anywhere that will provide those stats but I too will have a googlefest to see if I can find anything

Botbot Tue 05-Jan-10 13:16:52

Have just emailed Messrs Leahy and Wermann. Thanks for providing the addresses MrsBaldwin – you are a marvel.

I am truly disgusted by all this shite. How dare they? I haven't seen a billboard or a bus yet but it's only a matter of time, I imagine.

FlightAttendant Tue 05-Jan-10 13:19:33

Dorothea, I think they have assumed that Mumsnet has never encountered a troll before...or indeed any kind of disingenuous postings...hmmgrin

Miggsie Tue 05-Jan-10 13:21:00

What about SAHM who employ nannies?

Almost all advertising aimed at women suggests "you are a bad mother if you don't use XXXX"

LimburgseVlaai Tue 05-Jan-10 13:23:14

Also send an email to Phil Bentley, British Gas: phil.bentley@britishgas.co.uk.

Be sure to mention that you are a MNer!

Miggsie Tue 05-Jan-10 13:24:41

Oh, and I await "dads who don't earn above minimum wage or are unemployed are bad providers and bad dads"

And of course:

"All sexual stereotypes are true"


"people who write adverts are bad people"

How about:

"Only career women have messy houses"

"Career women's children never get into good schools"


"Women who marry advertising executives will be bad parents"

MoreSpamThanGlam Tue 05-Jan-10 13:25:44

Anyone up for a visit to the offices? or just content to winge on here?

bossykate Tue 05-Jan-10 13:27:54

standing ovation to mrsbaldwin smile

thank you for all you have done/are doing.

if you could please suggest some wording for a letter of complaint to the ASA, i would be very grateful.


SkaterGrrrrl Tue 05-Jan-10 13:28:23

Well done, domesticslattern

domesticslattern Tue 05-Jan-10 13:29:17

Yes I would go to the offices. <polishes loudhailer>

But where are the client's offices? It is they who need to realise they have spent their money very badly.

ChickensHaveFrozenNuggets Tue 05-Jan-10 13:30:23

I favour 'Men that belittle women tend to have teeny winkles'

morningpaper Tue 05-Jan-10 13:31:07

this is what this man WANTS though

he has always been a publicity-hungry meddja 'ho

he loves it

MoreSpamThanGlam Tue 05-Jan-10 13:33:00

Just me and you then Domesticslattern?

domesticslattern Tue 05-Jan-10 13:44:08

MP is right if we were to go to Beta. Would the same apply if we went to the Outdoor Advertising Association? <Edgeware Road>

BTW did you know that this thread comes way way further up google results for the slogan than the crappy so-called "discussion" website itself?

mrsbaldwin Tue 05-Jan-10 13:48:47

morningpaper - I know, I know.

So one sensible thing to do is to try and influence the Outdoor Ad Assn members' clients who spend money on outdoor advertising - and also to note the dissatisfaction re this campaign with COI, so that it's on the file when they next come to review their ad agency roster.

For those who don't know about how the Govt buys ad space (or never had any cause to be interested before) ...

The Central Office of Information, which helps Govt Depts who want to spend money on ads, runs a 'roster' system which basically means they pick a list of preferred-supplier ad agencies from a list of applicant agencies (based on various criteria to boring to go into here).

If you are a Govt Dept, say the Department of Work and Pensions which wants to run a billboard campaign against benefit fraud, you call up the COI and ask them to run a competitive 'pitch' process for you. The COI asks various ad agencies on its list of preferred suppliers to come up with some ideas for ads, a panel judges which firm seems best and they get the contract (the big contract*).

The roster is reviewed every so often so that new/different firms have a chance to bid for big bucks Govt work. Many agencies are very keen to get on this roster and put a good deal of work into applying to join it. It may be that Zeta Beta has ambitions to be on it - from my brief perusal of the current roster they're not on it at the moment (because they're new-ish I imagine). But I'm buggered if they're gonna get a crack at any of my taxpayer's money if I have anything to do with it.

So model email to chief exec of COI coming up a little later.

I am doing Advertising Standards Authority model email now and will post in a bit.

Crazycatlady Tue 05-Jan-10 13:55:03

For anyone who wants to write to them, here is a list of Beta's clients, who they have won work from since they launched last year:
Thomas Cook
The Outdoor Advertising Association

mrsbaldwin Tue 05-Jan-10 14:08:53

A model email to copy and paste or amend, to send to the Director of Operations at the Outdoor Advertising Association Mr Bill Wilson (the CEO is apparently on holiday).

The email address is:

Dear Mr Wilson

I'm writing about the advertising campaign you are currently sponsoring, which is running on billboards and in other outdoor spaces around the UK.

One element of the campaign uses the slogan ‘career women make bad mothers.’

I am [upset/disappointed/offended/furious] [with/about] your cheap attempt to provoke a debate at hard-working parents’ expense.

As I understand it the campaign’s aim is to drive traffic to a website, so that the OAA and its members can show potential advertisers that advertising outdoors is effective.

I have decided not to waste time posting to your campaign website, but instead to:
*complain to the Advertising Standards Authority and
*to write some of the OAA members’ best customers pointing out that I, a working mum, am also their customer and in light of your campaign asking them to review their outdoor ad spend

This is surely not what your ill-thought-out publicity drive intended?

Yours sincerely

onagar Tue 05-Jan-10 14:10:45

I can see why it would upset a lot of people, but I saw at least half a dozen people who misunderstood it before I stopped counting.

People saying that it's the same as saying 'Asians make bad mothers' etc.

Rightly or wrongly it's suggesting that women who are somewhere else working are not there where the kids are. They may well be paying someone else to to be good mothers to their kids, but they are not there to do it themselves. Get it now?

Maybe it should have said "a career parent" but they are making a point about controversial adverts. So far from wetting themselves that mumsnet (ohhh) noticed they are celebrating that it worked.

I don't care either way, but I find the "ohh it must be sexist/racist/somethingist if I don't like it" a bit tiresome

Katz Tue 05-Jan-10 14:17:11

onagar - i am not with my dd1 right now - she is at school, i am not paying anyone to 'parent' her right now so are you saying i should not be in work?

mrsbaldwin Tue 05-Jan-10 14:24:33

Onagar - Celebrating? Blimey, I wouldn't be cracking open the champagne quite yet if I was down at the Zeta Beta offices.

Buyers of ad space are only gonna continue to spend their big bucks where it can be shown that outdoor ads are driving traffic to the *right place*. What's the point of spending £1.25m to (a) direct a load of traffic to Mumsnet and (b) incite them to write to those buyers expressing their annoyance?

Seems a very expensive way of achieving nothing to me grin.

mrsbaldwin Tue 05-Jan-10 14:26:10

CrazyCatLady - I see you list NSPCC on your post re clients Beta has won work from. That's worth a letter!

Crazycatlady Tue 05-Jan-10 14:27:29

I know I couldn't believe it!

Miggsie Tue 05-Jan-10 14:31:19

How about:

"reading this advert lowers your IQ by 10 points"?

"Queen Victoria was a bad mother"

"The Queen is a bad mother"

SydneyScarborough Tue 05-Jan-10 14:32:12

From what I've seen of the NSPCC's crass advertising campaigns, it's not actually that surprising.

wahwah Tue 05-Jan-10 14:35:29

Am delighted to see how this thread has moved on and MrsBaldwin, you are a hero. Didn't get any takers last night from other mnetters to visit their offices and express our disgust in person, so will now be taking indirect action.

Anyway, here's hoping this will send out a strong message not to fuck with a mother! (I've been childishly wanting to say that for ages)

SydneyScarborough Tue 05-Jan-10 14:37:59

I'm up for visiting the offices. Whoever said "Mumsnet for Justice" earlier in the thread inspired me!
Don't put your Molotov cocktails back in the cabinet just yet.

Blu Tue 05-Jan-10 14:44:36

I would be willing to put my name to a huge petition informing these idiots and their other clients that I intend to spend no more of my working-mother pounds with them.
I think that is the way advertising agencies will be hit hardest, tbh.

Well done Mrsbaldwin.

Miggsie Tue 05-Jan-10 14:45:11

IF we visit the office we would have to take our children with us...to prove we are good mothers.

morningpaper Tue 05-Jan-10 14:45:28

someone has tweeted

"bad women make great mothers"

alana39 Tue 05-Jan-10 14:46:23

Not sure how I missed this one - Mrs Baldwin thanks for all the details, will be waiting for your contact info for the COI.

Have you followed the Indie item through to Brand Republic - some great comments on there hmm especially Ehsan with his link to a 1955 Good Housekeeping article! If only we could turn the clock back to 1955, most of these ad agencies wouldn't exist and Garry and co would be working down a mine or in a factory or something.

Blu Tue 05-Jan-10 14:47:29

Onager - that is your interpretation and justification of what it says.
What it actually says is wide open for all sorts of interpretations.
We are really not so dim that we don't get the 'it gets people talking' angle.

Botbot Tue 05-Jan-10 14:47:40

Has anyone else had replies from Anna Margot and Chris Wermann? I got one from each, asking which advertising campaign I was on about. So I sent them a link (the original Independent one, not the Britainthinks one). I left it at that though - didn't want to get too ranty to people who aren't directly involved.

mrsbaldwin Tue 05-Jan-10 15:03:13

Botbot* - this is great, well done. What happens next is Sir Terry and Mr Wermann count the emails and then decide what to do.

mrscrocoduck Tue 05-Jan-10 15:03:55

So I'm a troll because I have a minority opinion? I will not be complaining. I have not seen the adverts in real life. They have not offended me. I can see their purpose and it is being achieved. Well done.

DorotheaPlenticlew Tue 05-Jan-10 15:06:33

Mrscrocoduck, if it's me you think was describing you as a troll, I wasn't. I posted about trolls in regard to posts by MsKiki and MrsNarcissist (if I am recalling their names correctly).

I don't agree with you but it hadn't particularly crossed my mind that you might be a troll.

mrsbaldwin Tue 05-Jan-10 15:10:02

A model email to copy and paste or amend, to post as a complaint on the Advertising Standards Authority website. Others have already given the link, but here it is again for ease:

The ASA complaints form asks you to give your name and address (which they say they don’t supply to any third parties) and where you saw the ad. I just did a ‘test’ complaint – you can be as brief as you like (ie just put ‘outside’) or you can specify more exactly (eg on the corner of my street).

For ‘who was the advertiser?’ write: Outdoors Advertising Association

For ‘what was the product?’ write: The OAA’s ‘career women make bad mothers’ poster

The suggested substance of a draft complaint to insert in 'description of complaint' is below. I’m not a lawyer, so although I would love to suggest the ad contravenes the most recent version of the Sex Discrimination Act etc I’ll wait for my call back from the Equalities Commission advice line before I try that!

My starred points all relate to headings within of the Code of Advertising Practice, which I have looked up.

I've deliberately kept it brief and haven't muddied the waters with anything about websites etc.

One element of the current OAA campaign makes use of the slogan ‘career women make bad mothers’.

[Insert sentence about where you saw the ad eg ‘I was surprised and horrified to see this untruth displayed on a billboard opposite my three year-old daughter’s nursery’.]

I want to complain on three grounds. These are:

*re decency – that the ad has caused me serious offence. I am a hard-working mother and a good parent. In my opinion this advert deliberately and knowingly seeks to undermine women’s equality in the workplace for the purposes of publicity (for an entirely unrelated product)

*re truthfulness – in its design, size and prominence the ad gives the misleading impression that the statement is true - which it patently is not

*re matters of opinion – the design, size and prominence of the ads means that it is not initially clear that this slogan is a statement of opinion and not a statement of fact

I would like these offensive ads to be removed as soon as possible.

HaveItAllMummy Tue 05-Jan-10 15:11:36

I think every working mother should e mail Mr Bill Wilson and tell him that we will not be spending our working mother wages with the copmpanies he advertises - why should they benefit fom increased advertising circulation by making cheap shot misogynist comments about women?

I already boycott Nestle, but thankls, Mrs b, your list gives me more companies not spend my money with! I need to spend less, anyway!

MillyR Tue 05-Jan-10 15:14:41

We should start a boycott of these brands, and write to the brands, rather than the ad agency, telling them so. Is there a way of organising the boycott online?

OrmIrian Tue 05-Jan-10 15:15:38

"where the kids are. They may well be paying someone else to to be good mothers to their kids, but they are not there to do it themselves. Get it now?"


It's an interesting point though. I guess that means that those of us who aren't tied to our kids 24hrs a day are primarily bad mothers, but good when we are with them. Hurrah! That makes me a good mother 16hrs a day! And the school is a good mother 6 hrs a day and DH is a good mother 2 hrs a day. Aren't my children lucky to have some many good mothers?

SydneyScarborough Tue 05-Jan-10 15:17:04

Brilliant work MrsB!

I will be writing a whole load of emails when I have finished work and picked up DD from school
(shock - don't tell Garry) and will of course report back. Look forward to hearing what others get.

(Still into the direct action though: posting him shitty nappies anonymously perhaps?)

madamimadam Tue 05-Jan-10 15:22:26

Mrs Baldwin, you are wonderful. Thank you very much.

I'm happy to join a brand boycott. (Not that I buy anything of my little darlings anyway. That's how bad a working mum I am... It's all for me, obviously. )

Mr Lace is clearly a man short of ideas. I wonder what his next brilliant outdoor campaign will be? Throwing things at people in the street perhaps? Poking with sticks?

Thank you very much Mrs B and CrazyCatlady. I'll be emailing...

DorotheaPlenticlew Tue 05-Jan-10 15:29:44

I've just done my ASA complaint as well as emails to Tesco, Kelloggs and the OAA. It's a good feeling. Thank you again, MrsB, for all the time you've given to this.

DorotheaPlenticlew Tue 05-Jan-10 15:32:35

Dear [Dorothea],

We would NOT support this campaign. It is against our Values as a company and also mine personally.

Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

Yours sincerely


Chris Wermann

Regional Corporate Affairs Director. Europe


SydneyScarborough Tue 05-Jan-10 15:34:38

That's excellent Dorothea!

DorotheaPlenticlew Tue 05-Jan-10 15:35:31

I know!

LimburgseVlaai Tue 05-Jan-10 15:41:40

I think I read somewhere that this is a two-week campaign, so any ASA ruling would come well after this burst has finished. If the ASA does rule against the campaign it will only provide further (free) publicity.

So I think contacting the advertisers is probably the best course of action.

MsKiki Tue 05-Jan-10 16:03:42

DorotheaPlenticlew - not sure what you mean by a 'troll' by assume you mean some kind of Fifth Columnist?

Just to set the record straight, I don't work for Beta or the OAA or any one linked to this campaign. I saw the ads coincidentally at the same time as I was using Mumsnet for the first time to try to get some information and, having heard so much about the chat that went on on MN, decided to see what was being said about a campaign which - it seemed to me - was being deliberately provocative in order to start debate. Which quite frankly is a pretty old strategy not just used by ad agencies and marketers since time immemorial but by politicians and debaters everywhere.

The fact that there was a flash next to the headline saying 'Agree?' made it pretty clear that this was just one point of view and something that was being raised for debate.

The reality is that this is a point of view held by some members of our society. You might not agree with it - and I don't - but the only way you get people to change their point of view is to discuss it, argue against it and debate it. From having looked at their website, BritainThinks seems to be trying to establish itself as a forum where issues that matter can be raised by anyone for discussion and ,as such, is something that should be welcomed in a country that prides itself on its democratic heritage. I don't imagine there will be similar sites in either Russia or North Korea. The ad agency are simply trying to get the debate started via provocation because - as this has shown - people respond to provocation. The ads are not saying that career women make bad mothers. They're asking you what you think of the issue.

I used to work in advertising and - a very long time ago - was involved in a poster campaign for the CRE which, with the CRE's agreement, were deliberately racist in order to make people reconsider their own view on race and colour. Neither I, the ad agency or the client (ie the CRE) were racist and we didn't endorse the view being communicated. It was being done to make the implicit explicit and to create debate. I don't imagine Tesco or NatWest or any other poster advertisers seriously thought the agency or its client were racist either.

I don't work in advertising any longer, and won't again, and have chosen for the time being to be a SAHM. Interestingly one of the things that I have observed amongst many of the other SAHMs I now meet is that they are just as fiercely critical of women they see as having chosen to put career over children. There is a certain smug sense that being at home automatically makes you a better mother so I would challenge the opinion that this view is an inherently sexist one.

Having heard so much about the famed MN message boards I must admit that I find it a shame that so many of the messages have resorted to personal attack and insult which seem more reminiscent of the school playground than intelligent adult debate. I thought there might be some interesting discussion about this issue here but, unfortunately, there isn't. It's a shame as it is a point worthy of proper discussion so I hope that it is taken up on the BritainThinks site where there may be a little less vitriol and hysteria than there seems to have been here.

And, quite frankly, given some of the real abuses of human rights women face around the world, any spare time I have for campaigning will be directed towards trying to help them rather than worrying about a few posters which, when seen in the entirety of the campaign, are clearly not offensive. Likewise I shan't be boycotting everyone who advertises on posters but I will continue to disagree with and argue against this point of view whenever I come up against it.

DorotheaPlenticlew Tue 05-Jan-10 16:06:18


DorotheaPlenticlew Tue 05-Jan-10 16:11:17

Just got another wee message from Chris Wermann adding that they "will be feeding their views back to the OAA (of which we are not members)".

Botbot Tue 05-Jan-10 16:11:25


Dear [botbot]

We will also be feeding back our views to the Out Door Advertising Association (of which we are NOT members)



Good for him!

Katz Tue 05-Jan-10 16:11:35


Botbot Tue 05-Jan-10 16:11:59

oops, x-post.

DorotheaPlenticlew Tue 05-Jan-10 16:12:48

Sorry, I mistyped his message, which actually said "feeding our views back", as you may have guessed.

MillyR Tue 05-Jan-10 16:13:06

Has anyone emailed the NSPCC? It seems like a good idea to target Beta's clients rather than just the Outdoor Advertising Agency's clients.

I can't find the Tesco email in this thread to use as a template? Could someone tell me the post time for it?

DorotheaPlenticlew Tue 05-Jan-10 16:13:17

x-post again, sorry!

SydneyScarborough Tue 05-Jan-10 16:13:18

MsKiki have one from me too biscuit

DorotheaPlenticlew Tue 05-Jan-10 16:16:43

You're right MillyR, I've just been a bit too crap so far to do my own research for contacts etc, so have stuck to the email targets already put together by MrsB. Will try harder ... after tea/bath/bedtime routine is done.

OrmIrian Tue 05-Jan-10 16:19:08

"There is a certain smug sense that being at home automatically makes you a better mother so I would challenge the opinion that this view is an inherently sexist one."

Blimey! I don't think being a woman prevents you being sexist. I wish it did.

mrsbaldwin Tue 05-Jan-10 16:27:35

Another person to email - Director of Communications Planning at Unilever (another on the big advertising spenders list) is:

MillyR - the Tesco model email is on p11 of the thread I believe. I will round them all up later into one giant post.

MsKiki - vitriol and hysteria? Gosh have you ever been to a RL political meeting? You know, like a planning meeting where they want to build a nuclear power station next to your house? Or a parents meeting about whether to expand the local school? I think this is all relatively polite TBH. What is so vitriolic about calling Garry Lace 'superannuated'? And I think there were some posters writing poetry about his campaign, also.

You should have joined before, in time for the thread on bankers bonuses. Now THAT was a good one ...

MsKiki Tue 05-Jan-10 16:27:52

OrmIrian - I agree: just being a woman doesn't prevent you holding a sexist pov. This was a response to some of the earlier posts where people seemed to think that this view point could only be held by a bunch of sexist ad men.

MillyR Tue 05-Jan-10 16:28:17

Dorothea, I think what you have done is fantastic! I am in no way criticising your efforts, which have got a brilliant and speedy response.

I just felt that some of us (including myself) could contact the NSPCC as it is particularly dubious for them to be associated with this campaign.

OrmIrian Tue 05-Jan-10 16:29:54

Ohhh I see. As opposed to a bunch of sexist ad women - cos that could never happen could itwink

LimburgseVlaai Tue 05-Jan-10 16:31:58

This one from Phil Bentley (slightly missing the point):

"Thankyou for your email - this isn't a British Gas advertisement, I can assure you! (And having been on MumsNet myself before Xmas, I can well imagine the online chat it has generated!) Best wishes Phil Bentley MD, British Gas "

TheCrackFox Tue 05-Jan-10 16:32:28

We can now safely assume that the entire ad industry is staffed by misogynists.

DorotheaPlenticlew Tue 05-Jan-10 16:32:43

sorry MillyR, I didn't mean to fish for praise, esp as all I've done is follow mrsbaldwin's cues. Agree w you entirely that contacting Beta's clients makes sense.

HaveItAllMummy Tue 05-Jan-10 16:33:45

"I used to work in advertising and - a very long time ago - was involved in a poster campaign for the CRE which, with the CRE's agreement, were deliberately racist in order to make people reconsider their own view on race and colour. Neither I, the ad agency or the client (ie the CRE) were racist and we didn't endorse the view being communicated."

That's different - the provocative statement was directly related to - and challenging - the thing the campaign was trying to promote. In this campaign the object is to promote the advertising method itself, or a different principle, but not focussing on working women themselves.

Of course people respond to provocation but women are being USED as the fuel for someone else's fire, here. Because of it's separation from the whole object of the campaign, this simply stirs up irritating prejudice for many women, who are heartily sick of being pilloried by everyone left right and centre, and have nothing to GAIN from this campaign.

mrsbaldwin Tue 05-Jan-10 16:42:15

NSPCC Director of Communcations is:

But MillyR just to be clear the link to NSPCC is that they have also at some stage commissioned work from the Beta ad agency (CrazyCat listed some of Beta's other clients in addition to the OAA), not that they are involved with this silly campaign.

"The fact that there was a flash next to the headline saying 'Agree?' made it pretty clear that this was just one point of view and something that was being raised for debate. "

I have had another look at the photo and all I can see next to it is a circle with "Have your say" in it. Can someone who has seen the ads clarify?

mrsbaldwin Tue 05-Jan-10 16:43:27

HaveItAllMummy - you are completely right.

MsKiki Tue 05-Jan-10 16:53:22

Milly R - the NSPCC are not associated with this campaign. They are a client of the agency that produced the ad.

Mrsbaldwin - yes, sorry I missed the bankers debate. Just wondered whether all the MNetters complaining to Rachel Bristow should also make a complaint about Unilever's Axe ads at the same time? Given that these unashamedly portray women as sex objects and really demean us all, plus make us all feel even worse about our less than perfect appearances, then couldn't we kill two birds with one stone: suggest that they don't use posters as the OAA have allowed one execution, seen as offensive by some, to run on some of their sites whilst also suggesting that they pull all their equally sexist and arguably just as offensive ads for Axe?

MillyR Tue 05-Jan-10 16:57:02

MrsKiki, then they are associated with the ad!

It is the same principle as choosing to bank with the Co-op because they don't invest in unethical companies.

NSPCCC could, and should, choose a different ad agency to work with in future, or they are responsible for financing a company that produces this kind of ad.

Boycotting them is a standard consumer response to this kind of campaign. Where have you been for the last 50 years?

Harriedandflustered Tue 05-Jan-10 17:04:43

I think it's a really good strategy to complain to the clients of Beta. I've sent the following email to the NSPCC (borrowed from the inestimable MrsB)

Dear Sir

I'm writing about an advertising campaign currently running on billboards and in other outdoor spaces around the UK. The ads, created by Garry Lace and Robert Campbell’s agency Beta feature the strapline 'Career women make bad mothers' . This advertising agency boasts the NSPCC as one of its clients.

I hope that the NSPCC feels as disappointed by this tired campaign as I do. I hope you will carefully consider my comments when next reviewing your advertising agency spend.

Many thanks

Harriedandflustered Tue 05-Jan-10 17:07:00

Although that email didn't work - I'll try to find an email that does work ...

MsKiki Tue 05-Jan-10 17:15:16

'In this campaign the object is to promote the advertising method itself, or a different principle, but not focussing on working women themselves.'

It's not just trying to promote the advertising method; the campaign is trying to get people to put their point of views up on a website. To quote from the website:

*These days, so many people feel that they're not being listened to and they have no way of making their voice heard. They feel distanced from self-interested politicians and the news media. Yet the hallmark of Britain has always been that people care about, and have strong views on, almost everything. Speaking out is a democratic right this nation has historically embraced with enthusiasm.

Britainthinks is an independent space where the opinions of the British public can be publicly expressed. It launched on 4th January 2010.*

Working women are not being used as fuel. This isn't about exploitation. A point of view which is reasonably widely held in society and which many of us disagree with has been put up as an example of one of the things that might be debated on a website that is dedicated to encouraging debate.

I imagine that there are two things going on here. Firstly there is a website which seeks to become a public forum and so represent people's views and let their voices be heard. That needs to be promoted or else no-one will know of its existence. The medium chosen for this is posters and so secondly by getting people to go on the website the Outdoor Advertising Association will be able to demonstrate that posters are an effective medium. Given the intense competition for ever reducing ad budgets I should think the OAA wants to demonstrate that posters work. One execution, amongst 3 or 4 others (I'm not sure of the others - Ive only seen the football and working mothers ones), focuses on the possibility of discussing an issue which can clearly cause debate which is what the website is all about.

MsKiki Tue 05-Jan-10 17:20:43

MIllyR - am fully aware of the consumers' power to boycott. Your post was just a little confused (as are a number of the posts on this thread) so I was only making the point that Mrsbaldwin was which is that there was no direct link between the NSPCC and this particular execution.

Harriedandflustered Tue 05-Jan-10 17:29:58

MrsK, I can't see a single post from anyone who thinks that the NSPCC endorsed this advert. The point is that all of this agency's clients need to be aware of the sort of work they are capable of producing.

Crazycatlady Tue 05-Jan-10 17:32:04

I have emailed the senior bods at Thomas Cook, Bupa International and the NSPCC, via their press offices whose inboxes are usually manned 24/7.

If anyone else wants to do the same, the details are:

Manny Fontenla-Novoa. CEO, Thomas Cook, pressoffice@thomascook.com

Keith Bradbook, Head of Comms, NSPCC, mediaoffice@nspcc.org.uk

Alistair How, CEO, Bupa International, bupapressoffice@bupa.com

IME having worked in the press office of a global co, the quickest way to get the CEO's attention is via their press team. If it's an issue that could be remotely reputationally damaging, which this could, it'll be taken seriously and acted upon quickly.

I await their responses!

Crazycatlady Tue 05-Jan-10 17:35:38

p.s. I haven't pasted my letter here, but the gist of it is politely drawing their attention to the ad, explaining why it's offensive and why I'm sure they'll agree it's not appropriate for their organisation to be assocated with this agency, and that I'm withdrawing support for their organisation/will be boycotting their products until they terminate their relationship with Beta.

Harriedandflustered Tue 05-Jan-10 17:36:06

MsKiki, I wondered why you were insisting that people were confused, when patently they were not

So I did a quick search on your name and you don't appear to have posted on any thread other than this one

Would you mind reassuring us that you are not in fact an overweight unreconstructed 80s adman with a small willy?

mrsbaldwin Tue 05-Jan-10 17:36:56

Ah, NSPCC email didn't work - apols. It's because I didn't call them to check it - I've called all the rest. It's 1730 now so maybe too late for today, but will call them tomorrow.

I now have all details for COI and Minister responsible (with thanks to a friend of working mothers who collected it for me). I will post them and a model letter later, plus a round up so that everything is one place. I will do this after baby bedtime obviously (hope you are reading OAA and Beta - MrsBaldwin = good mother who puts her baby to bed)

Crazycatlady Tue 05-Jan-10 17:38:44

MsK if you're not a troll then you're a bit naive. BritainThinks has been set up by Beta to exploit opinions and viewpoints which they will use for their own financial gain via yet more spurious and ethically questionable advertising campaigns. That is, unless all their clients decide they've had enough of this foulplay and vote with their feet. Mmm, I wonder what we can do to encourage that hmm.

mrsbaldwin Tue 05-Jan-10 17:39:52

Ah CrazyCat has it - that's great.

And CrazyCat re press offices - you are quite right grin

Plus yes let's not get too distracted by MsKiki at this stage. I am looking forward to seeing her campaigning thread re human rights abuses against women and Unilever personal hygiene products

mrsbaldwin Tue 05-Jan-10 17:41:47

Harriedandflustered to MsKiki - "Would you mind reassuring us that you are not in fact an overweight unreconstructed 80s adman with a small willy?" Teeheehee.

Right I have to go and do the bath.

TheCrackFox Tue 05-Jan-10 17:42:12

CrazyCat - I will email your list tomorrow as I have a ton of stuff to do tonight.

Keep up the good work.

I think it is long overdue that ad agencies treat women with a bit of respect. SAHM or WOHM we do the majority of the spending and they would be wise to remember this.

MillyR Tue 05-Jan-10 17:51:35

There already is a letter writing campaign against sexism in unilever adverts, and people have been campaigning about human rights and Unilever since at least the 80s; there is even a song about it.

So I don't think any of us doing something about these Beta/OAA ads reflects a lack of action over Unilever.

chocolaterabbit Tue 05-Jan-10 17:59:49

I've complained to the ASA and emailed NSPCC saying unfortunate associated with this silly slogan. Thanks for all your work Mrs Baldwin.

H/ever in doing the emails, I have been neglecting the DCs and am on ML so not even the excuse of a career atm

Harriedandflustered Tue 05-Jan-10 18:06:19

Okay the new NSPCC link works and the BUPA and OAA links work but the Thomas Cook link bounces back

Great work MsBaldwin.

Have complained to the ASA - think useful to have different texts so mine is as follows:

This ad campaign purports to demonstrate the effectiveness of outdoor advertising by posting a controversial argument to engender debate. However, what they have posted is not controversial but offensive and demeaning, and I rather suspect illegal under the Equal Oppportunities Act (I will be purusing this point separately).

The posters state 'Career Women make Bad Mothers' in large letters. This is unfounded, unsubstantiated advertising. No matter that it is meant to create debate, the fact is in large letters it makes a libellous statement. Imagine the same thing being written about jews, or blacks, or muslims, or disabled women and you can see how offensive this is. I am very distressed, upset and angry that this campaign is about to run and will firstly be visible to my children, who indeed have a career woman as a mother, and also to a section of the population that will view this as vindication of their negative and biased views.

I don't think this can wait for an investigation and an adjucication - I would like you to stop this offensive campaign right now before it creates pernicious damage.

Off to write to those who hire the agency now. Am delighted to see one of the names on the list provided is a personal friend so will write to him first!

morningpaper Tue 05-Jan-10 18:38:51

If you complain to the ASA you just need to use the words "causes offence" or "offends me" - that is the only thing that they can look into, under the codes for causing offence.

Workingitout makes a number of points but none of them actually make any reference to any point of the advertising code, so it is possible that they will just return your letter and say that your points our outside their remit (e.g. potentially illegal is not their remit). Their only remit in this cause is if it causes OFFENCE.

morningpaper Tue 05-Jan-10 18:39:25

and bear in midn that the OAA probably sit on the Council of the ASA

WilfSell Tue 05-Jan-10 18:44:39

I think illegal is the remit of the Equalities and Human Rights commission. I'm no expert but I imagine you'd have to find something specific under the Sex Discrimination Act for it to be illegal...?

Harriedandflustered Tue 05-Jan-10 18:45:39

So you mean that the OAA pay for a disgustingly sexist advert. People complain to the ASA, and then the git from the OAA turns up wearing an ASA hat and immediately dismisses the complaint.

Oh the joys of self-regulation

morningpaper Tue 05-Jan-10 19:07:22

Here are the relevant sections that you should argue are breached if you want the ASA to make sure it is using all its guns when looking at the campaign:

"I would argue that the phrase "career woman" refers to women who are working outside the home and therefore breaches the advertising codes on the following counts:
1. The advertisement disparages working women and therefore breaches section 2.2 of the advertising codes:
All marketing communications should be prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and to society.
2. The advertisement targets working women by clamining that they are 'bad mothers'. It therefore causes offence on grounds of sexism and breaches section 5.1 of the advertising codes:
Marketing communications should contain nothing that is likely to cause serious or widespread offence. Particular care should be taken to avoid causing offence on the grounds of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or disability. Compliance with the Code will be judged on the context, medium, audience, product and prevailing standards of decency.
3. The advertisement can be easily read by children who may not understand the context of the statement and may therefore think that their working mothers are 'bad mothers', thus breaching section 47.2 of the codes:
Marketing communications addressed to, targeted at or featuring children should contain nothing that is likely to result in their physical, mental or moral harm."