"Sexist" HomePride ad dodges ban

LONDON - A TV ad for HomePride oven cleaner that claimed to be so easy to use that "even a man can do it" has escaped a ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority.

The ad attracted a record 673 complaints from people who found the ad to be disparaging towards men, branding them lazy and stupid.

Further complainants also found the ad to be offensive towards women by suggesting that cleaning was naturally associated with women in the home.

HomePride, the owner of the OvenPride brand, insisted that the ad used tongue-in-cheek humour to promote the product by playing on gender stereotypes. The company said it did not mean to cause any offence and had received positive feedback from consumers.

The ASA felt the ad’s tone was lighthearted and comical and that the characters in the ad were putting on slapstick performances to highlight traditional gender differences.

Although some people may find the ad distasteful, the regulator concluded that it was unlikely to cause widespread offence and considered no further action to be necessary.