With a few limited exceptions, it’s illegal to publish or broadcast an advert which discriminates because of sex, or which advertises discriminatory services. For example, it is illegal for an employer to advertise for a job using words like ‘craftsman’ or ‘handyman’, as this might give the impression that the job is only open to men. Likewise, in today’s politically correct society I am pretty sure it’s illegal to advertise that a packet of crisps are “Man Crisps”.
Imagine my surprise, therefore, that having consumed a packet of McCoy’s Flame Grilled Steak crips, I turned over the packet to read that they were indeed “Man Crisps” … you could have knocked me down with a feather!
I was so shocked that I dialled the Customer Services number for United Biscuits printed on the back of the packet, underneath the further politically incorrect words “Have you tried our other flavour man crisps”.
Unsurprisingly the lady that answered was ready with her answers (I can only assume that I am not the first person to have made this complaint). She advised me that these were a special promotion (which is not apparent on the front of the packet) and that it was a bit of fun because the thickness of the crisps and the ridges on them made them more “manly” but that of course women could enjoy them too!!!
Now I am no bra-burning feminist I can assure you but things like this absolutely horrify me. In the 21st Century I would have thought that a company the size of United Biscuits who in 2009 turned over £1.26billion with a profit before tax of £223.4million would not wish to alienate 50% of their customer base.