Eek! Bic, most famous for making pens, caused a helluva lot of controversy in 2012 for introducing pink pens ‘for her’, and now they’ve come under fire once again for their most recent advert. Bic South Africa posted an advert on its Facebook page aiming to celebrate National Women’s Day, but if you look at the words you’ll see why it didn’t quite work out the way they’d imagined…
Next to the image of a smiling woman in a business suit with her arms folded read the words: “Look like a girl, act like a lady, think like a man, work like a boss #HappyWomensDay.”
Cue lots of outraged ladies and feminist activists to quickly post angry tweets and Facebook comments questioning why they have to think like a man and not just think like the woman that they are.
Lowri Williams created her own version of the poster, writing, “Look like a human, act like a human, think like a human, work like a human.”
Jennifer Nonsense remarked: “I got stuck at the part where @Bic_SA wants us to look like girls. Would you tell men to look like boys?”
Girl on the Net tweeted: “Look like a girl, act like a lady, think like a supervillan, work to destroy the Bic corporation.”
But our favourite response has to be from feminist activist Caroline Criado Perez, who tweeted: “What fresh hell is this? Srsly, ‘think like a man’ *stabs eyes out with Bic pen*
If you can’t remember the pink pen debacle, we’ll refresh your memory. In 2012, Bic launched pink stationery ‘for her’ which was ‘designed to fit comfortably in a woman’s hand’ apparently. This launch came under similar fire, receiving comments that Bic were sexist, and was even picked up by Ellen DeGeneres who filmed a sketch alllllll about it.
Yesterday, Bic South Africa removed their most recent advert and responded on Facebook to the criticisms they received, saying: “Hi everyone. Let’s start out by saying we’re incredibly sorry for offending everybody – that was never our intention, but we completely understand where we’ve gone wrong. This post should never have gone out. The feedback you have given us will help ensure that something like this will never happen again, and we appreciate that.” They were also quick to mention that they found the quote from a ‘women in business’ blog. So basically they ripped it off anyway.
Maybe best to lay low for a while now, Bic…
By Hannah Brimson