Jewelry company Pandora removes ad after burlesque school labels it sexist

(Photo: Getty Images)

A new advertisement has opened a Pandora’s box for the Danish jewelry brand of the same name.

An Italian burlesque school shared a photo of charm specialist Pandora’s new Milan ad placed in a train station in the city, and followers are fuming. The hunter green sign spanning a wall read, “an iron, pajamas, an apron, a Pandora bracelet…In your opinion, what would make you happy?” in Italian. The ad also showcased a few of Pandora’s designs, silently suggesting that the reader get one of those instead of an iron or apron for their loved one this holiday season.

“We could not believe it, but unfortunately it’s all true,” they captioned their photo of the advertisement.

Lefanfarlo, the female-empowering burlesque company that shared the ad, found it offensive and sexist as it implied, intentional or not, that women should run the household. “Dear PANDORA, Lefanfarlo for Christmas wants especially respect, rather than a beautiful bracelet,” they wrote.

Their followers agree. “I would like you to stop seeing the woman through ancient stereotypes and often distant light years from the true essence of who the person actually is. I wonder then who is that woman who would like as a gift an iron… who has made marketing of such low taste,” someone wrote. “[T]he concept is a little dated,” said another. “Vomiting,” wrote a third. “‘Dear, if you use the first three, you’ll have a bracelet for Christmas!’” someone joked of the kind of person who would support the ad. “It’s a sexist advertisement. I am a woman and I would like a video projector, books (many), subscription or theatre, just as I want a steamer. It was enough to make a slightly more imaginative and appropriate list, not in the ’50s,” one follower wrote. “You have to stop with these stereotypes,” another demanded.

Others just joked about how they’d actually prefer an apron or iron to a piece of Pandora jewelry.

Luckily, Lefanfarlo got their Christmas wish early.

“It is correct that we have received some inquiries from the Italian market in regards to a specific advertisement posted in a subway station in Milan,” Martin Kjærsgaard Nielsen, head of global media relations and corporate communications for Pandora, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. While Kjærsgaard confirmed that the ad was geared toward people buying Holiday gifts for women, she said, “it would appear that the advertisement in question could be interpreted as offensive, which is completely unintentional. It is an unfortunate situation.”

Even so, they took responsibility for their ad. “As a consequence, we have swiftly removed the advertisement. We do apologize for any potential misunderstandings that the advertisement might have caused.”

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