- Retail brand Gap has come under scrutiny as its latest ad faces allegations of sexism from consumers posting on social media, according to Fortune.
- The ad in question features a young boy and a young girl, with the boy, wearing a shirt with an image of Albert Einstein, labeled as a “little scholar” while the girl is instead labeled as a “social butterfly.”
- “Gap brand has always stood for individuality, optimism and creativity. Our intentions have always been to celebrate every child and we did not intend to offend anyone," Gap spokesperson Liz Nunan said in a statement to Fortune.
At a time when the advertising industry is facing criticism for its lack of diversity, a recent ad campaign from Gap isn’t helping. Consumers have been posting to social media, asking questions of the brand for running an ad that many deem to be sexist.
Diversity is a very public topic in the ad agency world right now. Just this week, Publicis Groupe suspended the chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi, Kevin Roberts, after dismissing the debate over gender discrimination in the ad industry as being “over." Roberts subsequently resigned.
The debate was sparked earlier this year when another agency leader came under fire for his actions. J. Walter Thompson CEO Gustavo Martinez was forced out after a lawsuit alleging sexism and racism in the workplace was filed by an employee. Martinez was replaced by Tamara Ingram, who went on to create a diversity committee at the agency.
The scrutiny comes at a bad time for Gap, which faced heat only a few months ago for an ad that depicted a group of girls, where one Caucasian girl rested her arm on top of the head of the African-American girl. Many called the ad "racially insensitive" while Gap apologized and pulled the ad.