MAA Ad of the Week: EE’s purpose-packed ‘Not her problem’

We haven’t had this much reaction to a campaign since AMV BBDO’s terminal effort for Asda a couple of years ago. EE’s ‘Not her problem’ about, inter alia, male sexism in society (it’s supposed to be mainly about England women’s football) has certainly divided opinion. Many men obviously hate it, saying they’re all depicted as sexists, which they aren’t.

It also adds fuel to the “too much purpose” debate. Football, in the UK anyway, has always resided somewhere between a game and a tribal confrontation and this is certainly aggressive in tone. Too much so? Is it making things worse?

And. of course, what’s it all to do with being a mobile provider?

Agency Saatchi and Saatchi has been ploughing its furrow for 50 years or so now so should know what it’s doing. But agencies can be excitable places, sometimes getting carried away when they’re gifted with what they see as an important issue – or opportunity to rehearse one.

It’s our Ad of the Week because it raises so many issues.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

One comment

  1. EE’s ‘Not Her Problem’ advertising campaign, has become a problem!

    The current EE ‘Not Her Problem’ campaign is highly controversial for all the wrong reasons. It is incredibly sexist, promoting misandry and negative male stereotypes. It also presents false information and wrongly suggests that all men are sexist towards women, which of course is simply not true at all! It’s quite ironic that an advertising campaign designed one presumes to promote equality, actually ends up doing quite the opposite. It is vital that we talk about discrimination in an honest and open manner and that we challenge prejudices, but sadly this advert actually creates prejudice instead. It achieves exactly what they are accusing men of doing, it stereotypes in the most offensive manner possible. The real issue here is that prejudice and discrimination occur everywhere and can be perpetrated by anyone, regardless of sex, race, religion etc. And it is these uncomfortable truths that we need to start discussing, constantly blaming men or one group achieves nothing, because often you are pointing the finger in the wrong direction. Sometimes we need to look at ourselves first, before blaming others. It is important to challenge prejudices and discrimination, but engaging in an advertising campaign which in itself promotes stereotyping and prejudice towards others, is highly contradictory and hypocritical. So it looks like this time EE have scored Nul points and a home goal!

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