Gender equality in the workplace has long been a legitimate issue of discussion. Companies that work hard to promote an inclusive and equal environment should, and often do, tout their policies and achievements both as a branding exercise and to attract top talent. France’s Channel 3 decided to create an ad boasting about the large number of female presenters on its broadcasts. You’d think such a topic would make for a nice piece of empowerment advertising, but to paraphrase Inigo Montoya, I don’t think that means what Channel 3 thinks it means.
The resulting commercial shows a selection of homes in various states of disrepair thanks to the absence of its female presenters spending so much time in front of the camera. By touting the women in its workplace, the brand has somehow simultaneously expressed its belief that a woman’s place is in the home. A swing for gender equality that ends up a sexist strikeout.