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Crown Paints hit with more than 100 complaints over new ‘misogynistic’ and ‘offensive’ advert

"Our ads are intended to give a humorous account of our characters’ stories."

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 16th August 2022

A Northern-based paint company has been hit with more than 100 complaints over its new TV advert, which has been branded “offensive”.

Crown Paints – which is based in Darwen in Lancashire – released the advert in question earlier this month, and through a cast of actors, singers, and spoken word performers, it tells the story of a young couple named Hannah and Dave.

The couple were said to have met at an illegal rave, and are now expecting their first child together.

Lyrics from the advert’s jingle include: “Now a baby’s coming and they don’t know what it is. Hannah’s hoping for a girl, Dave’s just hoping that it’s his.

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“They’re happy that their spare room’s no longer grey because there’s a baby on the way.”

Since its release and airing on TV screens across the UK, an Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) spokesman said it had received 150 complaints about the advert – which it is “currently assessing to determine if there is a potential problem under our rules and, if so, whether there are grounds for further action”.

The ASA says the majority of complaints are mainly focused on whether the content in the advert is appropriate to be shown on television, as well as many taking to social media and calling it out for being “totally derogatory” towards women.

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Comedian Jennie Eclair was one of the more prominent figures to complain to Crown Paints on social media earlier this week, tweeting: “Hey Crown Paints, get that offensive baby ad off air – what were you thinking!!!? What on earth possessed you?”

Author and podcast host, Daisy Buchanan, was one of the many people to welcome Eclair’s tweet and say in response: “I honestly thought it was me being mad”.

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One viewer took to Twitter and said: “Totally derogatory of women, questioning her fidelity. Take it off because it won’t sell much paint.”

Others said it was “offensive”, “misogynistic”, and a “serious error of judgement”.

Crown Paints then responded to Eclair’s tweet saying: “Our ads are intended to give a humorous account of our characters’ stories. We appreciate that people have differing tastes when it comes to humour and whilst the ad has been broadly well received, we apologise if the remark has caused offence to anyone.”

But Eclair still said she felt that the advert “set up a scenario that implies a woman has possibly conned a man into fatherhood”.

Following both the growing online backlash, and the 150 official complaints about the advert, Crown Paints has issued a formal statement addressing the claims.

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A spokesperson said: “This ad is one in a series that is intended to celebrate special moments in life in a humorous way.

“The characters of Hannah and Dave are shown to be in a happy relationship and preparing for their new arrival. There are no negative connotations intended from any of the lyrics and whilst the ad has been broadly well received, we recognise that people have differing tastes in humour.

“We apologise if any of the lines have caused offence.”

Featured Image – Crown Paints