Loft Co., which sells everyday products in Japan and Thailand, has come under fire due to its portrayal of women in its 2019 Valentine’s Day campaign.
The ad, which was released in a variety of formats, features five women with blonde hair and identical dresses, all seemingly happy.
In the ad, the women discuss a variety of topics, including boyfriends, where it soon becomes apparent the women harbor underlying resentment toward each other.
By the end of the ad, the women are physically hurting each other behind their backs.
Twitter users were quick to lambaste the brand, with many taking to social media to condemn the ads.
Some describe the ad as “grotesque”, with others questioning why ideas like this were being perpetuated in 2019.
It wasn’t long before Twitter users connected the sexist Valentine’s ad with other recent PR creations in Japan which similarly stereotyped women in a negative light.
Earlier this year, Loft’s parent company Seibu and Sogo Co. ran a commercial that featured a woman being hit in the face multiple times by cream pie as part of its New Year’s campaign.
The ad’s opening line was: “We don’t need an age of women, do we?”
Criticism of the ad was fierce and widespread.
Facing pressures from blogs, general web-based news sites, mainstream TV news shows, and newspapers, Loft removed the ad and issued an apology.