Acora Ltd insults women with shockingly sexist advert, then botches apology

Acora IT Outsourcing Ltd has caused shock and dismay with the publication of an advertisement that is extremely offensive and insulting.

Acora IT Outsourcing Ltd has caused shock and dismay with the publication of an advertisement that is extremely offensive and insulting.

The company, which has an all male leadership team according to its website, has shown that it is completely out of touch with the fact that 1970s style sexism is no longer acceptable.

The image is a visual ‘joke’ reminiscent of the ‘comedy’ of people like Bernard Manning and Jim Davidson, and it is incredible that the company thought this would amuse its clients, or the public in 2013.

Describing their vision in the following way, this is a company that has proved it is out of touch with modern social responsibility:

“We believe that thought-leadership drives innovation. We are dedicated to constant progress, sharing knowledge, and creating a valuable resource for the businesses we work with”

The decision to run with this advertisement undermines any claim to a progressive vision, or to  innovation. It would be interesting to know what market research methodology was used to develop this piece of marketing, and whether it was tested its target audience, the largely male IT audience it is aimed at, or whether the general public was involved.

Following a huge backlash and much criticism, Acora Ltd tweeted a statement which amounts to nothing more than a reinforcement of the blindness that led to the publication of the advertisement in the first place.

In their ‘apology’ there is no recognition that the advertisement is unacceptable, instead suggesting that it is acceptable apart from some who failed to find it funny.

They have completely missed the point that there are damaging consequences of such images for everyone. Although it is a woman who is the object of ridicule, and the man is depicted in a dominant position, men often find these images demeaning of women.

Additionally men would reject being placed a role that they do not find appealing. Contemporary men do not view their relationships with women in the light suggested by this advertisement.

The impact of such images on the education children and young people, about power in gender relationships, is destructive as it promotes a passivity-dominance model of a bygone age, but one which underpins domestic violence and abusive, unhealthy relationships.

Sexist tweet

Acora Limited has also insulted its customer base, which surely would not want to be associated with the core message underpinning this advert: IT is a sexist, misogynistic world which does not care about social progression, as long as a few sexist people are amused by the disgusting demeaning of women – and a lot of business is done.

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15 Responses to “Acora Ltd insults women with shockingly sexist advert, then botches apology”

  1. RealMcP

    Anne Widdecombe’s getting about a bit these days.

  2. greg

    Sex with ugly people is always funny. It will always be so long as immediate sexual attraction is based on looks.

    That they’ve done a poorly thought out ad doesn’t make it the end of the world. You’ve overread it way too much and they should have just reversed the genders and no one would have batted an eyelid.

    Arguably you could read the ad as her being the sexually aggressive dominant woman and he’s the plucky guy trying to figure out how to get out of it. Also the picture is a play on a classic establishing shot in film, it isn’t to put him in a dominant position over her, it puts the focus centre stage, which in this case is her not him.

  3. Dave Lawrence

    It doesn’t insult women, unless they have no sense of perspective; all it does is upset the PC brigade, who by now should really be packing their bags and leaving the world to the grown ups

  4. nkiflemar

    You are a man and have no clue what overreading is when insulting women! It is an offensive ad and shame on those who think sex is “funny” with or without “ugly” people. You will likely not be attractive forever and neither will your mother, your sister, your daughter in today’s superficial world. Think about that!

  5. Callum Hawthorne

    By being offended by something like this, you are simply undermining the Progressive agenda.

  6. fenne

    Offensive to women? Confrontational to fat people is perhaps more accurate. Sure, it’s insensitive, but if this is already so horriby shocking, I wonder what hysterics will have be pulled out when something réally offensive is published.

  7. Michael

    Can I ask a simple question, Would this still be sexist if it was a man lying on a bed instead of a woman?
    This is clearly a joke about having relations with an unattractive person not an insult to woman. Sexism and misogyny is banded about these days far too much.
    I am not a sexist and believe that everyone was created equally so personally I find this advert rather funny and amusing.

    I shall point out one simple fact, the only people that find this sexist are the people that are sexist one way or the other.

  8. Nicki Vincent

    Yes, it would still be wrong if it were the other way round. If a person finds another unappealing for whatever reasons why are they contemplating having intimate relations with that person? This ad is portraying unhealthy attitudes towards relations between people of any gender or sexuality. I feel it would speak volumes about a persons view of their own relationships to miss that point…

  9. Lizanne

    I’m a woman and don’t find it offensive at all. In fact I think it’s an excellent piece of marketing, it’s done it’s job, people are talking about it, you either love it or hate it. If you hate it don’t look at it. There would not be this much fuss if it was a fat bloke on there instead of a woman.

  10. Lizanne

    I agree with you Michael. People who find this sexist must also find adverts by the likes of Fairy washing up liquid adverts sexist as it always a woman washing up. Surely that’s a sexist advert!

  11. Jamie

    Love the fact advertising on this site is just as sexist – stop picking on one company as its a global issue – also surely there is more pressing issues in the world on sexism

  12. RobShorrock

    A useful public service – an ad it has told me about Acora and that on no accounts should I hire them.

  13. Sarah Hall

    It’s just disgustingly offensive. Both the advert and the apology. Acora have shown absolutely no remorse at all – if they had at least admitted that they made a judgement in error, then that would have helped things.

    I can just imagine the all male board sitting around scratching their heads.. wondering why people are kicking up a stink. It’s the utter lack of diversity that means they’ve got no one pushing them or making them question their own thoughts and views. If this is what they think makes an effective advertising campaign, you’ve got to think about what they think is an effective employee and customer treatment policy. I’d hate to work there! (or be a customer).

  14. ZC

    The ad showcases Acora’s neanderthal mind set. I am dropping them from my contact book.

    As a case in point, IBM has around 300K employees in India that work on a wide range of industry leading platforms and products, carry out cutting edge research and deliver world class IT consulting/services.

    This ad while potentially depicting Acora’s values is offensive on so many levels.

  15. Belial

    All the females that found this “offensive” must be overweight and butt ugly like ” the subject”.

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