Travel Trouble

Tue, 9 Oct, 2018Jim Mitchell

Can you spot what is wrong with this controversial hotel ad?

Can you spot what is wrong with this controversial hotel ad?

Sofitel Hotels is weathering a stormy response to an advertisement that appeared in Good Weekend magazine for its Brisbane hotel.

It seems like an innocuous, prosaic hotel ad, but on further inspection, the devil is in the detail.

On one side of the bed sits a bath-robed man reading a copy of Australian Financial Review. On the other is a bath-robed woman reading a Chanel coffee table book. He has a basket of pastries for breakfast nearby. She has a plate of fruit.

The advertisement has been branded as sexist on social media, reports the Daily Mail, with criticism scathing of what the young couple are each reading – he something intellectual, her something presumably frivolous – and the proximity of each type of breakfast foods to them.

The Australian reporter Elizabeth Redman tweeted:

“Hi @SofitelBrisbane, your breakfast looks delicious! Hey and just wanted to let you know I’m a woman and I also read the @FinancialReview every day.”

“Yes, newsflash for @SofitelBrisbane — some women are in fact more interested in whether stocks and shares are going up and down than whether hemlines are,” another Twitter user wrote.

Someone else brought attention to the layout of the breakfast spread on Twitter.

“Of course the fruit platter is on her side, she'd be loathed to touch the baked goods...' they wrote.

One man thought the advertisement resembled something that Mad Men’s fictional Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce 1950s-era advertising agency would have come up with.

A spokesperson for the hotel chain tweeted that depicting a sexist representation of a couple was not the intention of the advertisement, with the company pulling the ad.

“There was no intention of portraying a stereotype but we recognise it and apologise for any offence that it has caused.”

Do you think there’s anything wrong with this advertisement? Let us know in the comments below.