The U.K.’s advertising watchdog has cleared Asda’s festive TV campaign featuring an exhausted mother doing all the work to make Christmas a success, despite more than 600 complaints it was offensive and sexist.See the ad below. It was also accused of discriminating against fathers, who are portrayed as useless guests in their own homes during the holidays.
The TV ad showed a harassed mother swamped with festive preparations: shopping, cooking, cleaning, writing cards, wrapping presents and making beds.
The campaign, which ended with the line “Behind every great Christmas there’s mum, and behind every mum there’s Asda”, prompted 620 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority.
Asda stuck to its guns, saying that while a large number people might have felt that the ad was sexist, it was simply a fact that women do the lion’s share of work at Christmas.
“Extensive consumer research and feedback indicated that the majority of their customers identified with the ad’s representation of Christmas,” the supermarket said. “Eight out of 10 mothers [of 1,896 surveyed] … believed the ad reflected common experience, rather than outdated stereotypes.”
The ASA said that the TV ad was “not likely to be seen as condoning or encouraging harmful discriminatory behaviour, or reinforcing negative stereotypes of men or women in general, and, for those reasons, considered it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.”
It dismissed the 620 complaints about the ad, which was created by agency Saatchi & Saatchi and also ran on ITV’s video-on-demand service, Asda’s website and YouTube channel.
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This article originally appeared on guardian.co.uk
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