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OAA Apologise for "Career Women Make Bad Mothers" Campaign

(1281 Posts)
OAA Wed 06-Jan-10 16:16:05

The OAA are running a campaign to demonstrate the power of outdoor advertising to drive people online. This is being done in conjunction with a new website called ? which encourages debate amongst the people of Britain.

We regret any misunderstanding that led to feelings of offence on the part of members of the Mumsnet community.

The intention of the website is to generate debate by posing questions that are deemed to be socially relevant by members of society.

We did not intend to cause any offence and we would stress that the questions posed were not the opinions of the OAA or any of its members.

Three posters were designed to initiate the debate using sport, life and politics and these are supported by dozens of other questions on the website itself.

Regrettably the question relating to ?career women? has caused offence and the OAA unreservedly apologises to anyone who has been offended. This was not our intention and, to ensure that this misunderstanding does not persist, instructions have been given to remove this poster.

Subject to the vagaries of the weather, all copy will be removed as soon as possible. The sites currently carrying this poster will be either blanked-out or carry one of the other designs. The poster will also be removed from the ? website. All Digital posters have already been removed.

jackstarb Sat 08-Jan-11 22:06:34

It was great fun thoughsmile.

MrsBaldwin doing her thing, the haiku's, poor Justine getting grief, and whatever happened to Garry?....

We should have an anniversary thread!

Sassybeast Sat 08-Jan-11 16:54:50

I can't believe all this happened a YEAR ago.
Ipes eyes and lies back down again, pondering on the fact that a year has passed in a flash sad

StewieGriffinsMom Sat 08-Jan-11 09:43:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KatieMiddleton Sat 08-Jan-11 02:45:34

<places pennies on eyes of thread and gently draws shroud over>

BaroqueAroundTheClock Sat 08-Jan-11 02:41:49

you know I was looking at the thread title - and the first posts thinking - why didn't I see this before now it's been going for 3 day and I never noticed a thread with over 1000 posts confused

so I scrolled down and realised it was a year old. grin

KatieMiddleton Sat 08-Jan-11 02:35:54

Wow, old thread! Might be better to start a new one? Although not sure random data collection from the internet is going to give you the robust data you're looking for because you can't verify or quantify your respondents in any way. Have you approached someone like the Fawcett Society for this info? I'm doing a masters in a similar field. My interest is redundancy and maternity leave. Interestingly the ONS does not currently collect any data to measure gender differences in those becoming unemployed or the reason for unemployment hmm

caramelwaffle Sat 08-Jan-11 02:29:05

Tis' an Epic

< starts again at page 1>. grin

caramelwaffle Sat 08-Jan-11 02:24:08

Good grief - you resurrected THIS thread shock

RACHELFL Thu 06-Jan-11 22:50:13

I am currently employed as a manager in the public sector. In March I will be made redundant and, as part of my preparation for applying for new jobs, I am undertaking a postgraduate qualification in management. Part of my studies involves an analysis of the market for job-share and part-time opportunities for professionals (approximately graduate level and above). I am interested in the demand for and supply of people in these positions, and how employers currently recruit such individuals.

I would very much appreciate it if all you professional women out there could complete this short survey, in order to assist with my analysis. Please also pass it onto appropriate female friends and family. I don't need responses from men at the moment, thankyou, but please could the men reading this message send it on to your girlfriends, wives and female friends so that they can complete the survey and increase the number of responses.

The link to the survey is given below. Please just cut and paste it into your browser.

Many thanks

adcreep Fri 22-Jan-10 10:52:50

Hello everyone, I've blogged about this issue on my website, I'm really keen to hear what you think, and would love you to comment on it.

WorkingItOutAsIGo Thu 21-Jan-10 20:25:56

Glad it made it into Private Eye - good job, can't wait to see it.

I do sort of feel that I am with you on this, MrsB. It irks me to give up, but I feel like we've done really well, pursued it relentlessly and got as far as we can. Lessons learned all round, some red faces, and I bet no-one ever does this again in the UK!

Ladies - it's been great, and to repeat my earlier praise - MrsB, you were awesome and I think you should run for prime minister as I belive there will be a vacancy later this year!

mrsbaldwin Thu 21-Jan-10 11:44:33

ASA - what do I think (scratches head) ...

Well ... I am quite liking the idea that they are still being obliged to think about this pesky issue by WorkingItOut, Morningpaper (and anyone else who is pursuing them)

I also agree with MorningPaper that saying you'll do something is different from actually doing it. (And am pleased, therefore, that refuge has now confirmed Beta's donation.)

I can only guess at the inner workings of the billboard industry - but am assuming that OAA contacted each member org requesting they take down the offending posters at the earliest opp. Am also assuming that 9a) OAA can only appeal to its members' common sense as opposed to issue an order and (b) that for some billboard sites the next poster down the line was already in the warehouse ready to be pasted up and there were staff in overalls with paste brushes on tap to put them up ... but for others there was no next ad ready (or even booked). This is their problem, of course ... but I suppose I can, with gritted teeth, understand the point the ASA are making in the first para of their letter to *WorkingIt Out* about 'complex posting cycles'.

On the point about OAA's terrible error of judgment ... Yes. What a terrible error. I guess they aren't likely to repeat that in a hurry - they've been pilloried in the mainstream press and lost at least one member firm. The debate has drawn attention, within the ad industry, to the speed (or not) at which OAA's member firms are modernising their product offering (ie replacing traditional billboards with digital, which deliver much better audience targetting). And we can only guess at what the firms who spend a lot on ads that we contacted said to them. To a greater or lesser degree their £1.25m 'research' via the BritainThinks website has been discredited - yep, outdoor advertising drives traffic online ... to Mumsnet...

Beta is a minor player in all this, actually - but they haven't done too well out of it either it seems to me. Given the spectre of Garry's lawyer is still hovering (hello there Lawyer Giles!) I'll refrain from speculating further on this.

WorkingItOut's point re inference in letter that ad could later be found acceptable - IMO it would be quite annoying (!) if the ASA were to decide retrospectively that the ad were acceptable. There is an argument that the ASA are toothless self-regulators and 'they would say that' ... but, on the other hand, in the course of looking to get these ads taken down we have complained to them as if they are in fact mighty creatures of influence.

So I suppose, if it were me, I would be tempted to knock it on the head with the ASA at this point ... on the basis that this whole thing might, as it is, have given a few highly creative yet dully sexist ad-writing men out there a bit of pause for thought, ongoing ASA investigation or not.

That's not to say MorningPaper that I disagree with what you say about precedents. On the contrary, in principle I completely agree with you. I suppose in practice I'm a pragmatist though - so I think I'll cast a vote for quitting whilst ahead grin

mrsbaldwin Thu 21-Jan-10 10:46:50

I just found the Private Eye piece - great work Quattrocento!

morningpaper Thu 21-Jan-10 10:45:06

I'm still arguing the toss with the ASA

they take a LONG time to respond to anything because it has to be cleared by 24 levels of management first

But I think the complaint SHOULD be re-opened because the OAA made a really terrible error of judgement and I don't think that poster advertisers should be "let off the hook" from a complaint investigation just because they "promise" to take their ads down. The amount of time it takes to take the ads down means that they've run their campaign anyway and it's a terrible precedent to set IMO. So I'm still arguing

mrsbaldwin Thu 21-Jan-10 10:41:48

Private Eye grin!

There was also a mention in the Evening Standard diary on Tuesday I'm told, although I can't find a copy to check - something about the number of posters that hadn't come down (so I'm not sure whether it was pro- or anti- IYSWIM)

Great news that Refuge now have their £1000. Well done Beta!

Quattrocento Wed 20-Jan-10 22:53:04

Blimey. Did I mention that I actually emailed Private Eye with the whole story? I don't know whether they read my email because I never got a response, but maybe they read it ...

HerBeatitude Wed 20-Jan-10 22:25:13


Just looked at my Private Eye and on Page 11 they ran a story about this. grin

Sorry can't link to it, I can't find my subscription number.

policygarry Wed 20-Jan-10 20:13:34

Hello ladies

Refuge confirmed today that they have now received the donation. Hurrah!

They want to pass on their thanks and general admiration grin

WorkingItOutAsIGo Wed 20-Jan-10 19:47:25

I had a response from the ASA today to my repeated question about whether the complaint should be re-opened since the promised remedial action had not been adequately implemented.


Thank you for your continued patience.

As the regulator our concern is with keeping standards high in advertising by creating a level playing field for advertisers and protecting consumers. Our main sanction lies in having problematic ads amended or removed and for the most part advertisers work hard to ensure their ads meet our Codes. In this instance a questionable decision was made and the advertisers quickly took action to have the ad pulled without our intervention. As far as they were aware the matter was dealt promptly but, given the complex posting cycle for outdoor advertising, a small proportion of the 11000 poster ads remained up. These delays may well have occurred even if the matter had been dealt with through an investigation.

Many of the complaints we investigate are about whether an ad is misleading. These investigations largely determine the acceptability of verifiable objective claims and our findings set a clear precedent which all advertisers must then follow. When it comes to taste and decency, however, we must deal with complaints on a case by case basis and have to base our judgements on the specific circumstances and prevailing standards of decency and acceptability. The issue in this case is one relating to taste and decency but there is little to be gained from us investigating whether an ad was acceptable on the grounds of offence if the advertiser has taken remedial action themselves. Given that the advertiser’s actions have been reported publically, the only real difference a formal investigation would make would be that it would raise the possibility that the ad could be found to be acceptable under the Code.

We’re sorry that the issue has caused you upset but we’re satisfied that the matter does not warrant further action on our part. As such we would suggest that you do not re-file your complaint.

Yours sincerely

Mr Nice Man at the ASA"

So no dice there, and an interesting veiled hint that if we continued to press all that might happen is the ad would be found retrospectively to have been acceptable.

So am fearing we are at the end of the road on the ASA angle. Any views?

mrsbaldwin Tue 19-Jan-10 13:10:21

domesticslattern this blog is interesting! It gives me a warm and fuzzy glow all over to see people in the media/comms/ad industry publicly reflecting on Betagate grin

mrsbaldwin Tue 19-Jan-10 13:02:40

Thanks Squeaver

BTW I just had a look at Beta's blog on Brand Republic - I see Robert Campbell the agency's co-owner is now inferring a 'collaboration' with MN.

This must be the 'collaboration' in which Beta:
*set MN contributors a deadline to produce work for it
*declined an invitation to call round MN-nominated charities to see if any would like to work with them
*has not (as far as I can see anyway) persuaded the OAA to put up its new 'anti-sexist' posters
*has not (as of last Friday) been in touch with Refuge.

Oh yes, that collaboration!

Last comment, comments section of current post, here: pdate.aspx#comments

domesticslattern Tue 19-Jan-10 12:56:15

outdoor shock tactics, some lessons to be learned

squeaver Tue 19-Jan-10 11:59:29

here you go MrsB

mrsbaldwin Tue 19-Jan-10 11:43:50

MrsBaldwin goes off looking for yesterday's Standard to read article

But what she is really looking forward to is PolicyGarry's forthcoming update from Refuge re £1000 Beta donation grin

WorkingItOutAsIGo Tue 19-Jan-10 07:30:04

H&F as was, you have reminded me that I have not had a reply to my letter to the ASA asking for my complaint to be reinstated so have resent it this morning.

But it has all gone down in history - there was an article on outdoor advertising in the Standard last night and there was the now obligatory mention of the fact that of course the OAA had come a cropper. So their brand is tarnished as it is now what anyone associates with their name. Some comfort. Ratfinks that they are.

Presumably the CEO of the OAA is now back from his lovely holiday....wondering how he feels and whether he would like a call....

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