Japanese Supermarket Pulls Valentine’s Day Campaign Following Charges of Sexism

Loft, a Japanese supermarket franchise, has pulled their Valentine’s Day campaign following charges of sexism over the portrayal of women in the ads.

Part of the campaign, which used visuals created by Japanese graphic artists Chika Takei,  was a video featuring a group of girls that was meant to celebrate friendship.

Some viewers felt the dialogue was inappropriate because it portrayed women with the negative stereotype of competing over boyfriends. Most problematic for people was the final images showing them pulling each other’s hair and clothes.

 
 

Ouch.

After pulling the video, an apology issued by the brand. A translation of the apology said, “As for the posting of the Valentine’s Promotional Visual this time, there are a few customers who had displeasing feelings, and we deeply regret that it resulted in a lack of consideration.”

According to The Japan Times Loft’s parent company has had similar problems in the past with department store brand Seibu and Sogo being criticized for an ad showing a woman being hit with pies in the face while the narration said: “We don’t need an Age of Women, do we?”

The ad goes on to appeal towards equality and the “Age of Me” but the initial reaction from many in the public stirred controversy.

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