Is this Danish shoe ad a satirical feminist rallying cry or just plain sexist?

The Local Denmark
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Is this Danish shoe ad a satirical feminist rallying cry or just plain sexist?
Immediate reaction to the #WomenNeedMore campaign wasn't particularly positive. Photo: Bianco/Facebook

The Danish footwear company Bianco has found itself dealing with backlash to an advertisement that has been slammed as a “hypocritical”, “sexist” and an “ignorant” attempt to use the fight for gender equality to sell shoes.


“Listen up! There’s still not equal pay for equal work anywhere in the world. And it seems most women are not even angry about it,” the ad begins, before going on to air complaints about women’s “ridiculously more expensive” underwear and the stupidity of men who “apply body lotion to their face”.
While the shoe company’s claim that women “are not even angry about” not getting equal pay is dubious at best, there were no shortage of women – and men – who were angry about the ad itself. 
Three days after the ad was uploaded to YouTube, users’ down votes outnumbered up votes 832 to 42 and comments were overwhelmingly negative. 
“I find this incredibly insane with both the sexism and the hypocrisy reeking from this ad that sells over-priced products,” one YouTube user wrote. 
“I find it hilarious that the ad complains about overpriced women's products while trying to sell overpriced women's products. Can you really not see the irony?” wrote another. 
Likewise on Twitter, Bianco’s #WomenNeedMore campaign attracted a number of negative reactions. 
“Bianco creates attention for itself with an attempt to debate equality… and sell a few pairs of stilettos while they’re at it,” added Danish Twitter user Kirsten Ebbesen.
But the negative feedback was perhaps most prominent on Facebook, where the company’s ad had been viewed over one million times as of Wednesday.
“A lot of women are angry about it, but funnily enough not because we want to buy more shoes. Isn't it great when capitalism attempts to cash in on feminism? What a load of bullshit,” wrote Laura Line in the video’s most popular comment. 
“You mock the basic principle of equality between the genders by assuming women need to spend more money to fulfill their needs. This is below ignorant!” added Andre Christensen. 
“I’ve never seen such a sexist, offensive ad that abuses and misinterprets feminism,” wrote Josephine Turms.
Bianco’s social media staff, perhaps sensing that the ad was backfiring, replied to many of the negative reactions by defending the ad as satire. 
“The commercial's focus is shoes and fashion, with a satirical twist - no more serious than that,” the company wrote. 
Bianco also said that it believed most viewers would be able to recognize the satire. 
“We believe that many self-assured women will be able to tell when something is humorous and might even be able to laugh at the absurd and caricatured situations from the ad – but a good debate is of course just as important,” it wrote in response to another angry comment. 



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