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Sexism sells? Researcher calls out Kelloggs for its packaging of oats

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Kellogg's has found itself in trouble for its packaging of oats

Kellogg's has found itself in trouble for its packaging of oats

The packaging for Kellogg's oats has landed the company in a social media row after Purnima Menon, a senior researcher at the International Food Policy Research Institute took the brand to task for its sexist advertising.

The packaging in question highlights the benefits of oats for men’s health — and exhorts women to feed their husbands the product as it will help them have “happy husbands” (“A healthy heart is a happy heart”, the message on the package concludes).

Menon tweeted a photo of the package with the caption: “Heart health is as important for women. Shame on you @KelloggCompany & your advertising agency for #sexist promo!”

Menon’s tweet got quite the appreciative reaction on Twitter.

Kellogg's packaging goof-up seems like a throwback to the days when sexist adverts were the norm for products of every kind — beer, coffee, ties, stockings and even kitchen appliances.

So while a Heinz soup ad in the 1950s commiserated with women whose husbands yawned at the dinner table (and then said that if it was “your cooking and not your conversation that is at fault, then it can be easily fixed”) another, for Van Heusen’s ties had a man reclining on a bed while his wife served him a meal on a tray, on bended knees, with the catch-phrase “Show her it’s a man’s world”.

A blender by Kenwood called “Chef” had this winning line: “The Chef does everything but cook. That’s what wives are for” while Chase & Sanborn coffee had a man spanking his wife as a helpful reminder of what might happen if “your husband found out you aren’t ‘store-testing’ for fresh coffee”.

Kellogg’s advert is nowhere close to those in the level of sexism it portrays, but as Purnima Menon pointed out, “Media and advertising need to help shape perspectives. Ads like this don't help”.

Updated Date: May 02, 2016 13:40 PM

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