The Advertising trifecta – Marriage, Men and Children.

Littlewoods, the online shopping purveyor of stiff looking party dresses and shiny home furnishings have a new advertisement running right now on TV. Perhaps you’ve seen it? It’s running every 5 minutes and contains all the hallmarks of a classically sexist advert. Way to be original guys!

Like most of Littlewoods Ireland ads there are a few features that are always present in a Littlewoods ad, we have the scarily permanent smile of Caroline Morahan who is always clad in a form fitting but incredibly flattering dress, the extremely well lit set, which looks like Oprah’s infamous lighting team got to work there and the always present loving family home scene, whether it be a beautifully furnished kitchen or an amazing Christmas living room. It’s all pretty harmless in a unoriginal way.

However, their new ad takes a lovely turn into seriously sexist with the introduction of their Spring/Summer ’14 ad. Here is the offending piece of video:


So we can see that woman is sitting in gorgeous kitchen, gets invited to school reunion and is immediately worried about what other people will think of her life. But hang on! Caroline is here to help you, like a 1950’s fairy godmother. You will of course talk about your amazing kids and your amazing husband (yes! A HUSBAND! A MAN! A MAN….*SWOON!) and oh yeah, your amazing wardrobe and house too.

I mean, what else could a woman possibly have or want to talk about in a room full of her peers? (A career, maybe?) But no, we get a glossy look at the ideal life of a Littlewoods customer. Smiling kids, handsome husband and picture perfect house. How modern of you Littlewoods, glad to see you shaking things up with such original ideas!

Was there no other ideas? Do these people think women contribute nothing more to society than caring about dresses and parading our perfectly dressed children in peoples faces? I would love to know the gender divide on the creative team for this video. I am imagining some suited men sitting around a table thinking; “What do Irish women care about? Come on guys – think! AH we got it! Clothes, Men and Children!”

It’s like the advertising trifecta for outdated ideas – advertising in 2014 then.

But it’s just another entry on the exhaustingly long list of Irish (and international) advertisers getting it so wrong. Because remember girls, all we’re meant to care about is shopping and finding a husband – and to bag him make sure to get on Littlewoods so we can order that perfect dress, that will slim our hips and push up our tits, so we can attract that ‘handsome husband’ and we can do even more online shopping for Tupperware and shoes, while he stands proudly over us while we’re browsing on your lovely site.


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