‘A freelancers website was forced to apologise and retrained its advertising staff on using sensitive language after publishing an advertisement with the word “girl” in it.
Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) came down on PeoplePerHour, a website that connects freelance workers with businesses, for a London underground ad last year that featured a woman with the phrase: “You do the girl boss thing, we’ll do the SEO thing.”
The ASA banned the ad on grounds that the phrase “girl boss” was sexist. Upholding the total of 19 complaints about the ad, the ASA said it “perpetuated harmful gender stereotypes” by presenting a “patronising” depiction of women who run businesses, according to the Evening Standard.
Initially, PeoplePerHour defended the ad, saying that the phrase “girl boss” was popularised by American businesswoman Sophia Amoruso, who used the term as the title of her New York Times best-seller list book and in her other multimedia ventures and appearances.
However, the freelancer platform later said the wording “might unintentionally come across as sexist and demeaning to women”, removed the word “girl” from the advertisement, and issued a public apology on its website. The ASA said that the company has also undertaken training of its advertising team on being mindful of their language.
In a separate ruling by the ASA, computer firm PC Specialist was reprimanded for having only men in its television commercial, which the advertising standards body said implied that only men were interested in gaming or coding.’