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Homebase criticised for sexist instructions

Published: 10 December 2009
DIY giant apologises after one of its tools suggests it is so straightforward, even a woman could use it.
Homebase criticised for sexist instructions
Homebase has become the latest UK firm to become embroiled in a row over sexism. The home improvement chain issued an apology after it was revealed that a set of instructions on its own-brand multi-tester tool stated: "Even a woman or child could spot a good or bad bulb or fuse".

Customers who bought the item were infuriated by the remark and, as a result, the retailer has launched an investigation into why the instructions were allowed to make it onto the shelves.

A company spokesman said: "Homebase sincerely apologises for any offence caused by the genuine oversight in the wording on the instructions.

"Homebase stock in the region of 30,000 products in stores and we will be addressing this error with our supplier."

Just last week, garden centre chain Hillier was forced to apologise to customers after a tongue-in-cheek comment in its Christmas brochure about buying a woman a clothesline, had equal rights groups up in arms.

Managers at the centre admitted that the joke, 'make her feel special with a clothesline this Christmas', was "probably ill-advised" after receiving 100 complaints from customers. However, it added that many of the customer complaints were actually of a humourous nature.

Earlier this year, Homepride received hundreds of complaints after the TV advert for its oven cleaner claimed the product was so easy to use, "even a man can do it". However, a ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) stated that the ad was not sexist.


Published prior to March 2014
By gill
sorry folks but speaking for a number of women who work in the building trade, sexism is rife and it takes us a lot longer to be accepted cos of outdated 'humour' like this. I'm not interested in the definition of sexism, I just know I'd find their instructions insulting. Saying that, i dont shop in Homebase, it's for DIYers.
Just stop and think before you say 'get a life'. People tend to complain for a reason. I'm not pc, just human.
Published prior to March 2014
By Terry Wylie
i paid for a toilet unit-which i never received and yet their computer said it was collected.This happened in Omagh,n.i. and i know at least 2 people screwed me up
Published prior to March 2014
By Colin Nutley
If you are a truly British person, then you would see this advert for what it is, a hurmerous poke at the fairer sex. Wake up Britain, if you complain, they just tighten the rules and you lose even more of your rights.
Published prior to March 2014
By Alan
What are the fairer sex getting so wound up about and who on earth gave them permission to shop unattended?
Good on yer Girls, give us more ammunition to chain you to the sink!
Published prior to March 2014
By Paul
Pathetic - hope the tool wasnt black, then they would be in the s*@t!!
Published prior to March 2014
By Peter Taylor
I think its terrible Homebase did that. Also, i think the language from Meager is wrong to. Shame on you both!
Published prior to March 2014
By Craig Thatcher
Instructions should be helpful, easy to understand and enjoyable to use. This way customers will have a positive brand experience. Offending some of them is counter productive. The instructions have a long life. So make them memorable.
Published prior to March 2014
By Richard Hazell
"No such thing as bad publicity" I bet Homebase are loving the fact that they are getting free publicity and media interest. Its quite a lighthearted topic and I bet their sales overall will go up as the public are reminded about their existence. Maybe I should create some sexist instructions for our product!
Published prior to March 2014
By jenny hercock
how ridiculous what a sad petty world we have created
Published prior to March 2014
By David Meager
If you will excuse the language what a load of bollocks!!

This people who complain should " get a life"!! What does it matter?

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