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The Asda Christmas Advert – Is it Sexist? Is it heck.

I’m a bit late to the party here (and that isn’t the first time that has ever happened) but I just saw the Asda Christmas advert for the first time and my initial reaction certainly wasn’t ‘well that is a pile of sexist junk’ but more of a ‘I fancy the actress playing the mother in the advert – I think I’ll Google it to see if I can find out who she is*.’ Well I Googled and apparently the advert has created a sexism row based on the fact it showed a mother working hard to put Christmas on and how it is all worth it because she saw a contented family at the day of the advert.

Well I can see why people get annoyed but really what is there to get annoyed about? Maybe the father is entertaining the kids and family whilst she is cooking the dinner? I remember distinctly that my mum hated anyone else being in her kitchen when she was cooking and knowing a fair few females that isn’t a complete rarity. Kitchen’s are not usually a place for several people and voices. There are other scenarios though in the advert that people are getting upset over. It has been an interesting read.

Over in The Telegraph in is argued by a female writer that the overreaction is not justified. The Daily Mail didn’t really add much to the discussion apart from claiming the Fathers4Justice are considering a ‘turkey sit-in’ at Asda stores if the advert isn’t pulled. Yeah lads. Good one… Mumsnet has a thread which is hilarious.

If you haven’t actually seen the advert is question then please view below.

The thing is we all have a very different view of Christmas. We all have different Christmas experiences and memories. It is impossible for advertisers to cover every single eventuality in a single advert. The truth is one parent in the majority of cases will do more of the work than the other. This isn’t to do with sexist ideals but one will likely either not work, or live closer to home than the other and therefore has more time or whatever.

Some people have said that the fact she cooked dinner in an apron is sexist. I mean really? Aprons are actually pretty practical items of clothing. Now I hardly ever cook and when I do I don’t wear an apron but – and this is 100% true – when I am frying sausages I do because the fat spits out everywhere and it used to always spit all over my clothes. It is just practical and isn’t a sign of sexism if a woman cooking is wearing an apron.

I hope the furore has calmed down as advertisers don’t have an easy job. A e-petition has been set up but it has only received 116 signatures (at the points of writing) and I’m happy it has flopped so badly. They have 30secs (or a minute if a long advert) to tell a story. They have to talk to the people that are buying their products the most. If you are advertising jewellery then in general you are advertising to women. If you are advertising sports kit then you are predominately advertising to men. It is just the way it is.

There is no sexism row here. Would it be better if they showed the husband doing something to help? Yes it would but then same-sex couples would say they are getting left out and so we go on.

For those that enjoy Christmas enjoy it. I’ll just do what I always do. Nothing. Grump grump grump. At least I’m not grumpy enough to get my back up about something that doesn’t really matter though…

*I didn’t find out the actress in the advert – all Asda have said is she is a ‘real Asda shopper.’ Also I know it is hard to believe that I fancied someone who isn’t ginger but it goes to show that I don’t just go for gingers…

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  1. Andrew Andrew

    This advert was poorly done. I think as usual they were desperate to please womankind like most seem to do these days at the expense of men. I don’t mind the fact that shes doing all these things but it should be from a parents perspective not a mothers. It should have had her doing the cooking etc but with others helping out. Asking only women if they are the only ones who make Christmas is like asking the BNP if they are in to multiculturalism!
    I’m male, and I will be doing my fair share this Christmas, maybe more, even though the in-laws are staying this year.
    Just one more thing, when I go shopping in ASDA, there seems to be more men than women shopping. I rarely see a woman with a child either! Maybe I’m there at the wrong time or maybe ASDA haven’t got it quite right. Next time you go to ASDA,have a look for yourself. I don’t think it’s 80% women – 20% Men as ASDA claim.

  2. Greg Greg

    The girl is Natasha Symms. Used to be in Hollyoaks

  3. Rw Rw

    You’re right about that mumsnet threasd being funny

    one comment “Someone buy that poor cow a bottle of gin. She spends ages cleaning up then goes in and smiles at her lazy fuck wit of a family chilling out watching t.v. I’d be chucking knives at the lot of them. ”

    LOL! Made me laugh

  4. Chris Horner Chris Horner

    Tim, you completely miss the point. The issue isn’t the fact that the advert shows a woman as the main organiser but the tagline at the end. It says behind EVERY great Christmas there’s mum. It’s basically saying that single fathers couldn’t possibly create a great Christmas, plus there’s people who have lost their mothers too.

    Imagine an advert saying “Behind every great Christmas is a dad working 50-60 hours a week to pay for it all”, there’d be an outcry.

    Plus the ‘research’ done by ASDA was asking 4,000 mums, well that’ll produce a biased result. I guess the opinions of anyone but mothers is invalid. I’m sick of this ‘Cult of Motherhood’ that grips this country.

  5. Tim Fisher Tim Fisher

    Not sexist at all.
    I’m a single dad of two. I too thinks she’s bloomi’ lovely, really, really, really lovely, and I too Googled her id. No joy either!
    Can you imagine at state where we can’t show X or Y simply because family A has no mother or aunt or some-such?! Not a state I’d want to live in.

    I look forward to this advert and the John Lewis advert.

    Next we’ll be boycotting snowmen and snow women because they’er naked!

  6. I find the ad offensive, as my son saw it and I could see him getting a little upset. Granted, our situation where his Mum has just outright abandoned him twice in his life and left him with me isn’t “the norm” but it’s still a bit insensitive, I think. I blogged about it myself.

  7. Chad Chad

    well it is sexist, Im a single dad.. does not mean my sons Christmas is no going to be great. ads like this are irritating. but of course, there are so many narrow minded people who believe ALL mothers are present in a familly.

    • neilmonnery neilmonnery

      Ads like this might be irritating (which they are) but again they have one minute to put across a story. Asda’s market research shows them that women are predominant when it comes to shopping and they are going after that market. There are several adverts out there which are far worse – the ad for example which says that a grown-up son is so dumb he bought his mum a giant ornamental duck for Christmas. I find that more galling personally.

      I don’t think anyone seriously thinks that dads do nothing.

      As for your point Dave – yes that is an issue but they could easily argue that everyone has had a mother figure at some point in their lives who have influenced them.

      I think Matt sums it up best – it’s not sexist per se but it is narrow-minded. However it will play out well to a lot of the people whom they were targeting as potential customers.

  8. Everything you say has some merit, except for the tag line of the advert – “Behind every Christmas, there’s Mum”. That turns a portrayal of one fictional family into a general case – if your Mum isn’t doing all this stuff, then you’re not having a proper Christmas.

    I’m fortunate to still have a Mum, but my cousins don’t; my aunt died on Boxing Day and every Christmas has that sadness haunting it. And yet they still have a great time with presents and relatives and suchlike.

    Sure, it would have been nice to see other members of the family helping Mum in different ways too. The advert irritated me in that regard. But it only angered me when the slogan came up at the end. A different slogan would have provoked a different, almost certainly better, reaction.

  9. Matt Matt

    I don’t see the advert as necessarily sexist, just narrow minded and ignorant of reality. My Nan always cooked Christmas dinner for my mum, sister, me and my grandad, but that was a product of her generation. My Dad, on the other hand, cooked Christmas for his family, because that is what he did. I’m the same; on Christmas day, the kitchen shall be my domain. It’s a cute advert, which probably reflects reality for most families at Christmas, but I can see why it can be considered sexist, given that it ignores the differences that can occur on these special occasions, and seems to portray it as “normal” for the mum to be the one doing all the hard work. Having said that, she does appear to be enjoying herself most of the time in the advert, especially at the end!

    Now, if you really want a sexist advert, find some of the adverts for “”. Horrific. Apparently you have to be a boy, and “like girls” to be interested in cars and gadgets. Wtf? In 2012, who on earth thought up that advertising campaign?

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