Mic Mac Mall Weathers Advertising Storm

829micmacMic Mac Mall had a rough week last week as its Back To School advertising campaign got international attention—it wasn’t the good sort, unfortunately.

The campaign, which aimed to correlate school subjects with shopping with slogans like “Mixing patterns – now that’s a science!”, wound up being lambasted across social media and news sites, including big names in the media like Buzzfeed and Huffington Post. People called out the ads as sexist, suggesting that they implied that girls should (or do) care more about fashion than education.

The center’s response was quick and decisive. It immediately pulled the ads. It also issued an apology, explaining in the process that it very much supports educated young women in its area.

“Mic Mac Mall is sincerely sorry for offending its customers. We’ve heard what our customers have to say and we understand why you’re angry. It was never intended to be offensive. In response to your concerns, we’ve re-assessed this year’s back to school campaign and have begun to pull all of these ads from radio, television, billboards and online, effective this morning.

While this doesn’t change the fact that the ads were used, we plan to take this opportunity to try and learn from them. We’re proud of our customer base at Mic Mac Mall. HRM has the highest concentration of post-secondary institutions in Canada and our customers include well-educated young female shoppers between the age of 15 and 44.”

To top it off, the center announced a plan to donate $5000 to a local organization that focuses on empowering girls and asked shoppers for nominations. This turned the conversation largely from what shoppers felt Mic Mac Mall had done wrong to a spirited debate about people doing right by young women.

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