To entice shoppers to their Black Friday sales, Singapore-based online retailer SuperGurl put up an ad on their homepage with the tag, “Rape Us Now,” drawing criticism across social media.
The ad, alongside the reference to sexual assault, shows a young woman suggestively posed from the waist up, with her eyes closed.
SuperGurl also posted a Black Friday ad Thursday night on Facebook with the tag, “Don’t Say Never,” which is still on their page as of this writing, despite comments asking them to remove the ad.
Facebook users were outraged at both ads, with one commenter posting, “Rape is not an appropriate synonym to ‘shop now’ especially when your target market is young women and tweens. You should be ashamed of yourself.”
On Twitter, another user writes, “This #blackfriday ad from supergurl is downright disgusting. #rapeusnow??? Unforgiveable”.
On Monday, the brand responded to the backlash in a Facebook post. Along with a photo simply saying “With Apologies” on a black background, Creative Director Jordus Lim apologized for the ad.
“I am writing this to express our sincerest apologies pertaining to our insensitive action and the choice of word – rape during our ‘Black Friday’ sale,” he writes. “We do not mean for it to be offensive to anyone, and I extend my sincerest apology for the lack of a better word.”
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He then goes on to blame his graphic designer for creating the ad, calling the use of the word ‘rape’ “an honest mistake.”
“As the director of the company, I have failed to review my Graphic Designer’s work before approving the image to be displayed on our site,” Lim says. “I hereby acknowledge that we have made a mistake, and that our caption does not advocate the right values to the young women community today.”