We’re used to seeing sex being used to sell products. We’re used to seeing ads built on an unhealthy foundation of sexism. Remember that really irritating washing up liquid ad from the Olympics which suggested that mums were just there to wash dishes while their sons became athletes?
All this stuff is quite subtle and when confronted, the companies shrink back in horror from accusations of sexism.
However, I wonder if Lord Sugar has branched out today with a new strategy of using sexist comments to get attention for his products.
Remember that nice inventor Tom who won the Apprentice last year? Well, he’s developed a new range of nail files with Lord Sugar as his business partner.
So far so good. Now we get to the sexist bit. Part of the marketing strategy is aimed at persuading employers to buy this for their “lady staff”. I kid you not.
Lord Sugar himself is enthusiastically tweeting every couple of hours or so inviting “girls” to ask their boss to get them these nail files for Christmas to show their appreciation of their hard work.
Well, frankly, I’d prefer a bonus, or even a commitment from my employer to close the gender pay gap, or to get more women on their board or whatever. That aside, though. Lord Sugar is being patronising and sexist. That’s not particularly new from him, but he’s also not daft. He knows full well that nobody goes and asks their boss for a specific Christmas present. I can just imagine what he would say if any of his employees did that and it probably involves a couple of expletives and the word P45.
I think he knows that by saying such a blatantly sexist thing on Twitter, he’ll provoke some controversy. Serena FitzGerald replied to him, calling him out, very politely for his sexism. For her trouble she got a three word reply. Simply, “Shut up, idiot.” The photographic evidence is here:
I‘d just bought a job lot as a peace offering to @womenforindy. Do you think I should cancel?
If you buy Margaret that, she’ll slot you in the throat.