A seemingly innocent advertisement of a young couple enjoying their breakfast in bed has seen a hotel accused of gender stereotyping.
Lounging out in their bathrobes with a selection of croissants, fruit salad and other baked goods on display, the couple stare lovingly into one another’s eyes – but it’s their reading material that has social media users up in arms.
A closer look reveals the woman is half way through a Chanel coffee table book, while the man is catching up on the Financial Review.
Elizabeth Redman, a reporter at The Australian, called out the Brisbane hotel on Twitter, writing “your breakfast looks delicious… just wanted to let you know I’m a woman and I also read the Financial Review every day”.
“Of course, the fruit platter is on her side, she’d be loathed to touch the baked goods,” another wrote.
Another suggested the ad looked as if it was straight out of a scene from Mad Men.
Sofitel Brisbane responded to Ms Redman and every Twitter user who took offence to the advertisement, ensuring them that they never meant to cause offence and the creative responsible for the ad had been removed from future campaigns.
“We appreciate you voicing your concerns. There was no intention of portraying a stereotype, but we recognise it & apologise for any offence it has caused,” the hotel responded.
“The creative has been pulled from any future activity. Feel free to send us a DM if you’d like to discuss further.”
Others reached out to the hotel saying they had nothing to apologise for, describing the backlash as “unwarranted” and “over the top”.
“If this is all you have to worry your mind about then you are a very lucky person indeed, geez,” one woman responded.
“Why are people getting so offended by such silly things it’s just a picture. Why waste your time getting so worked up, this world is crazy,” another wrote.
“Give it a spell, it’s just an ad, heck,” one man wrote.
Yahoo7 News has contacted Sofitel for comment.