Kingston Bentall Centre criticised over "sexist" advert

Kingston Bentall Centre criticised over

Kingston Bentall Centre criticised over "sexist" advert

First published in News Surrey Comet: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

An advertising campaign by the Bentall Centre has become the subject of a sexism row, amid claims it portrays women as “catty, self-obsessed bitches”.

The shopping centre has been criticised for its January sales campaign, which features images of cats’ heads on women’s bodies and reads: “Elbows ready, girls: The sale season has begun.”

The ad has been displayed as a large poster near Kingston station and also appeared on the Bentall Centre’s website and in the centre itself.

But the ads have been accused of reinforcing an ancient stereotype of women as vacuous and materialistic.

Hannah Rose Tristram saw the poster when returning home to Kingston after Christmas.

She said: “This seems to be encouraging catty, competitive behaviour and implies women should be shallow bitch-cats, beating each other to the cheapest fancy frock.

“The best way of defeating a group of people is to turn them against each other.

“Instead of encouraging women to get on with each other and help each other, this tells women the way to be feminine is to be catty, materialistic and competitive.”

She admitted a friend had disagreed with her, saying it was trying to appeal to people’s sense of humour, but maintained the campaign was still “damaging”.

Environmental campaigner Bernadette Vallely, who lives in Richmond Road, said: “It is a not so subtle, sexist innuendo. It is a gender trap that many advertisers fall into. It is shameful.”

Twitter user @kingstonbear posted a picture of the poster, saying: “Women are catty, self-obsessed bitches... says Bentall Centre Kingston #sexism”.

A spokeswoman for the Bentall Centre said: “Our adverts were designed to catch the eye of fashion conscious shoppers.

“The sales season is prime time for stylish bargain hunters and it was in this context the images were chosen.”

Comments (8)

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7:11am Tue 8 Jan 13

bystander tolworth says...

As a woman I feel empowered to say top these stupid women GET A LIFE!
As a woman I feel empowered to say top these stupid women GET A LIFE! bystander tolworth
  • Score: 0

10:06am Tue 8 Jan 13

little smiff says...

Well said bystander tolworth. It's no wonder we're all miserable in the UK with Hannah and her friends around. I wonder if she sent any Christmas cards out with pictures of Father Christmas on. Probably not, too gender specific. For goodness sake lighten up and stop trying to take things too literally.
Well said bystander tolworth. It's no wonder we're all miserable in the UK with Hannah and her friends around. I wonder if she sent any Christmas cards out with pictures of Father Christmas on. Probably not, too gender specific. For goodness sake lighten up and stop trying to take things too literally. little smiff
  • Score: 0

12:52pm Tue 8 Jan 13

Irenelikeswine says...

Well exactly!

Do people really care THIS much about it? Enough to be insulted?

I don't think it "implies women should be shallow ****-cats, beating each other to the cheapest fancy frock" and I don't think that's what the shopping centre were trying to say. I think it says more about our primal instinct and love for a bargain! We all know the shops get busier when it's sale time! And we all know we can't wait to get stuck in and have a dig through the racks!

What about the silly advert for Boots with that irritating song about girls we've all been listening to for the past 2 years? Were all the men of the world insulted that it could potentially imply that Boots is a makeup-obsessed-wome
ns-only shop?!?

I don't think I read any complaints about that one...
Well exactly! Do people really care THIS much about it? Enough to be insulted? I don't think it "implies women should be shallow ****-cats, beating each other to the cheapest fancy frock" and I don't think that's what the shopping centre were trying to say. I think it says more about our primal instinct and love for a bargain! We all know the shops get busier when it's sale time! And we all know we can't wait to get stuck in and have a dig through the racks! What about the silly advert for Boots with that irritating song about girls we've all been listening to for the past 2 years? Were all the men of the world insulted that it could potentially imply that Boots is a makeup-obsessed-wome ns-only shop?!? I don't think I read any complaints about that one... Irenelikeswine
  • Score: 0

2:44pm Tue 8 Jan 13

Prince Philip of Greece says...

Feminism strives to end patriarchy (the domination of society by men). Casual sexism - like the Bentalls advert above - is part of that society and is rightly challenged.

Bystander Towlorth might like to reflect on how feminism has improved life for women beyond all recognition in recent times so that they are now, indeed, able to "get a life".
Feminism strives to end patriarchy (the domination of society by men). Casual sexism - like the Bentalls advert above - is part of that society and is rightly challenged. Bystander Towlorth might like to reflect on how feminism has improved life for women beyond all recognition in recent times so that they are now, indeed, able to "get a life". Prince Philip of Greece
  • Score: 0

8:34pm Tue 8 Jan 13

Monitor lizard says...

Precisely! If the cat fits - then wear it....
Precisely! If the cat fits - then wear it.... Monitor lizard
  • Score: 0

11:32am Wed 9 Jan 13

bystander tolworth says...

Prince Philip of Greece, please do not attempt to teach the great, great grandaughter of a suffragette how to suck eggs!
Prince Philip of Greece, please do not attempt to teach the great, great grandaughter of a suffragette how to suck eggs! bystander tolworth
  • Score: 0

1:35pm Thu 10 Jan 13

kingstonpaul says...

I feel that in the context of the billions of women worldwide living in repressive regimes, a Bentalls poster from a local store is pretty small beer (or should that be a girlie drink to avoid giving offence to men....?).
I'd be curious to know if any of those complaining about the adverts ever shop at or visit Harrods? If so, guess they're comfortable supporting its Qatari owners, a country in which women form a servile, subjugated, and second class citizenry.
I feel that in the context of the billions of women worldwide living in repressive regimes, a Bentalls poster from a local store is pretty small beer (or should that be a girlie drink to avoid giving offence to men....?). I'd be curious to know if any of those complaining about the adverts ever shop at or visit Harrods? If so, guess they're comfortable supporting its Qatari owners, a country in which women form a servile, subjugated, and second class citizenry. kingstonpaul
  • Score: 0

10:00pm Fri 11 Jan 13

bellboy007 says...

Absolutely pathetic, clearly doesn't have much to do with her day if this sort of thing gets her in a tizz. I wonder what she thinks of the recruitment agency Manpower? outrageous!!
Absolutely pathetic, clearly doesn't have much to do with her day if this sort of thing gets her in a tizz. I wonder what she thinks of the recruitment agency Manpower? outrageous!! bellboy007
  • Score: 0

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