Creative agency’s sexist recruitment ad draws heated criticism, director defends it as ‘harmless fun’

Update: Ceritera creative director Edward Suhadi posted this apology on the Ceritera Facebook page Wednesday evening. He also removed the original recruitment ad post and his follow-up defense.

 


Ceritera, which describes itself as a “Creative Storytelling Agency” on its website, posted this recruitment ad on Facebook page yesterday, where it immediately received several negative comments by people noting its blatant sexism.

Rather than simply taking down the advertisement or apologizing for it, Ceritera decided to defend it and respond to the critical comments with the same level of humor displayed in the ad:

 

The negative comments on the post continued to pile up as the ad was shared online. We reached out to Ceritera for a comment or explanation for the ad, but did not receive an answer. 

Earlier today, however, Edward Suhardi, the creative director at Ceritera, posted a long response to the ad’s critics.

 

You can read his justifications for the ad yourself, but many of his points simply restate the idea that “I’m not sexist, my team is not sexist, if you knew us you would know we’re not actually sexist.”

It’s true, most of the commenters probably don’t know him or his team. But the critics were specifically saying that the advertisement was sexist (as were the responses Ceritera made to the criticisms made on the original post). 

Surely the head of a creative agency should know that their work has to speak for itself, and not require a 10-point explanation for why it is not actually the thing everybody thinks it is.

Edward also says that the ad was meant to be humorous and so it is just “harmless fun”. We wonder if he would defend somebody making insulting jokes about Muslims, Christians, the handicapped, etc. and call it harmless as well? If not, then why does he think it’s okay to make jokes that degrade women?

Obviously they wanted to create an ad that was out of the ordinary and would get noticed by a lot of people. Well, in that regard at least, we can say they have been successful.

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