Hillier garden centres apologise over 'sexist' clothesline advert

Hillier garden centres have apologised over an article in a brochure promoting a range of festive gift ideas that suggested men could make their wives "feel special this Christmas" by buying a rotary clothesline as a present.

The Vento lightweight aluminium rotary clothesline is pictured in a perfectly manicured garden with the headline: "Make her feel special with a clothesline this Christmas."

Hillier said they have received about 100 complaints from customers about sexist stereotyping.

Hillier business development manager Tim Mason said: "We have had a lot of complaints from customers but many of them have contained an element of humour. I think most people were just checking that we intended it as a joke because, in hindsight, it is out of context and could be misinterpreted as derogatory to women.

"We were not intending to promote gender stereotypes but acknowledge that some people have taken it that way and for them it is a serious issue.

"The brochures have already been delivered by Royal Mail so we cannot recall them. All I can do is apologise for any offence caused and say we will not repeat it.

"We regret printing the brochure in the form that it is in and accept it should not have gone out. If we had also suggested women bought their husbands a lawn mower its light-hearted tone may have been more obvious and acceptable.

"Regrettably, I'm sure we will have annoyed some people to the point where they will choose not to shop with us."


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