A woman has slammed an emergency contraception advert which quizzed women on whether they’d be prepared to give up lipstick and heels for kids.
Kirstie Jones, 29, was stunned when she got on a bus on Sep. 11 and saw the eye-catching poster advertising a UK sexual health clinic’s services.
The social media manager was aghast when she spotted the poster emblazoned with the phrase ‘would you give up this?’ next to a pair of skyscraper heels and a red lipstick followed by ‘for this?’ next to a pink dummy.
The Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust has apologised that the ad had raised concerns, but highlighted how the campaign has played an important role in tackling teenage pregnancy and poor sexual health.
Kirstie said: ‘I was gobsmacked when I saw the ad, I had to look at it again to make sure I’d read it correctly.
‘It suggests that if you accidentally become pregnant you have to leave the lipsticks and heels behind. I couldn’t believe it, it’s so irresponsible.
‘It’s sexist because it doesn’t understand women, it implies if you are a mother you have to give up certain things.
‘My sister has a small child so I’m fully aware of the sacrifices that mums do need to make when they have a baby.
‘This poster implies they have to give that up those things in order to have a child.
‘It doesn’t matter what you look like, what lipstick or shoes you wear when you have a baby. It’s irresponsible.’
Kirstie said she was stunned that the poster had made it to the final stage without someone flagging the ‘misguided’ content.
Kirstie said: ‘They had the opportunity to put some humour into this campaign and speak to their audience that way – perhaps with a picture representing an ex or a one-night stand – instead they risk causing offence.
‘The fact that it went through so many people before being displayed is another thing that made me so mad.
‘The person who designed it, signed it off, printed it and distributed it. Did nobody stop and think ‘are we really going ahead with this?’
Divisional Director of Midwifery, Gynaecology and Sexual Health for Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, Nicola Wenlock, said:‘We apologise if this particular advertisement has raised a concern, the intent was to raise awareness of emergency contraception and advice available for those in this age group who wish to avoid unwanted pregnancies.
‘The campaign has played an important role in tackling teenage pregnancy and poor sexual health in our local area which has been reducing steadily year on year.
‘We will continue to work closely with all audiences to ensure we offer the best possible services for them and will continue to review all materials closely for future campaigns.’