Asda’s Christmas advert has been cleared of allegations of sexism by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after viewers complained it depicted outdated stereotypes of women.
The advert featured a mother carrying out various tasks in preparation for Christmas and the voice-over at the end said: “It doesn’t just happen by magic. Behind every great Christmas, there’s mum, and behind mum there’s Asda.”
During the advert a mother is shown hovering, wrapping up presents, shopping in Asda, writing cards and serving up Christmas dinner before the dad in the TV family says “what’s for tea love?” when she finally sits down.
The ASA investigated the ad after receiving 620 complaints. Viewers claimed it reinforced outdated stereotypes of men and women in the home.
However, the ASA noted that research carried out by Asda showed the advert, created by Saatchi & Saatchi, was representative of the majority of its customers’ festive experiences.
Asda research showed 86% of its shoppers said that within their household they were mainly in charge of Christmas present shopping, 84% said they were responsible for wrapping presents and 78% said they were tasked with shopping for food at Christmas.
The ASA said: “We considered the ad was not prescriptive of the experience of all at Christmas and instead reflected Asda’s view of the Christmas experience for a significant number of their customers.
“We also noted the ad showed the father assisting in the Christmas preparations. We therefore considered the ad was not likely to cause serious offence.”
Industry data suggested Asda’s festive growth had been outstripped by Sainsbury’s and Tesco over Christmas. Tesco and Sainsbury’s both grew sales by 3.9% in the six weeks to January 6 while Asda sales grew 2.1% and Morrisons’ sales fell back 1%, Kantar Worldpanel data revealed.
Asda will reveal its Christmas performance when it reports its full-year results on February 21.