Home / Humour / Sexist Barclaycard ad alienates customers

Sexist Barclaycard ad alienates customers

I've worked for American firms during my main working life, just as we saw the rise of political correctness (PC) and the PC-police.

It got to the stage where you couldn't even say "I like your new hairstyle", without falling foul of the PC-police (I know, as one of my male colleagues in Chicago got a reprimand from HR for saying that to a femail co-worker).

The result was that the American guys and gals would love coming to London, as we were far freer and more irreverent.

Maybe that's changed as a lot of our old ways are being worn down through gradual PC-creep.

Christmas is now Winter Holidays and my local pub has renamed itself (it was the Cock and Bull, it's now … no, I'm not going there).

Anyways, in a new storm of controversy, Barclaycard's Winter Holiday Advert has been slammed as being sexist.

Here's the ad …

On first viewing, it's a fantastic piece of marketing and branding, but the storm is all about the scene with the Barbie doll.  As the New Statesman points out:

The father is shopping for his son’s present, when a Barbie approaches. Now, it’s already a dangerous area to slip in “they’re plastic” as an implied reason to disregard her flirting, but they then follow into the shark-infested waters of “on your bike dolly, it’s for his son”. 

C'mon … isn't that just funny?

Oh, maybe not.


About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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  • This is a result of the new societal disease “thin skin” where you cannot make fun of anything without someone taking offense.
    This was a great ad, and it was as you said just funny!
    The statesman dives into a criticism of the fact that they say “on your bike dolly, it’s for his son” because toys should not be gender specific. It could just as well mean “its for his son, not him.” Besides, as i guess marketers realize traditional girl toys are marketed to girls and vice versa, despite what the statesman has to say about it.

  • William Gibson

    I great advert … I wish we could see ones akin to this on the “western side of the pond.”
    The PC police have gone overboard on this one. How anyone could take offense (real or implied) from this commercial is beyond me.

  • Alexandra Larsen

    Oh for heavens sake! Whatever family constellation, whatever type of dad you show, another type will always be left out. At what stage does the singlesex parent family become the stereotype? Isn’t it equally legitimate in that case, that regular, A4 families have a cause to complain about ads focussing on other family types? There will always be an opportunity to complain if you choose to. I loved this ad, it was warm, funny, and I totally recognise the chaos of the toy department before Christmas. Have a sense of humour, people!

  • These cannibalistic PC tendencies will kill off trade and leave businesses, exporters and the consumer disgruntled.

  • PC used to mean Personal Computer

    Thoroughly research the origins of political correctness. You may be suprised (or not).