British clothing brand Boden has apologised after customers accused it of “sexist” gender stereotyping in its latest children’s catalogue.
One page read: “Boys start every adventure with: a bike (or a pair of very fast legs), fellow mischief makers and clothes than can keep up”. The corresponding copy to promote girls clothes said: “Girls, new clothes are in sight. Fill your pockets (and wardrobe) with flowers and race this way.”
Father-of-two, Sam Williams, 38, from London spotted the campaign and took to Twitter to voice his disgust. He posted a picture of the pages and said: “Seriously @Bodenclothing? Keep up.”
The tweet garnered a lot of attention, receiving more than 2,000 likes and a flurry of enraged responses from people calling out the brand for enforcing gender stereotypes.
“My son constantly brings me flowers but is afraid of riding his bicycle. Come ON @Bodenclothing, how are we still having this conversation???” one person tweeted.
Boden has since issued an apology with regards to the controversy, explaining that the company is “totally committed to gender equality”.
“We’re so sorry for blotting our copybook in such spectacular style. Whilst it wasn’t our intention to ever stereotype the roles of boys and girls, we probably over-egged things a little here,” the brand tweeted.
The marketing mishap comes just one month after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) cemented its new rules on gender stereotyping, which ban marketing that emphasises contrast between a boy’s stereotypical personality traits and a girl’s.