Adverts that got it wrong – some of the most politically incorrect adverts

2021 – A time which political correctness is at its highest point


To be politically correct means to avoid ways of discrimination towards groups of people (women, ethnic minorities, the LGBT+ community, immigrants…) who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against. A study conducted by Pew Research has concluded that 53% of respondents believe that people are too easily offended by what other say. Contrarily, 44% of respondents believe people should be careful of what they say to avoid discrimination towards minority groups.  


Often, television adverts are common to reflect directors’ views on minorities, and society’s outdated values. Here are some of the most politically incorrect adverts to ever have been shown on UK television.


Here are some of the most politically incorrect British television adverts:


Yorkie Advert – “It’s not for girls”


The chocolate bar Yorkie has always had a representation for being sexist. To be sexist is to be stereotypical, prejudicial, or discriminatory against a specific sex – typically against women. The chocolate bar – which is created by Nestle, a Swizz chocolate company – previously catered the chocolate bar’s target audience towards men. The wrapper adopted a remark which was noted to be sexist in 2001, eventually stopping in 2011. The wrapper explicitly stated, “it’s not for girls”.

Despite the wrapper of the chocolate bar being noted to be sexist, an advert caused further controversy due to sexism. The advert showcased a woman, who disguised in masculine workers clothes, trying to buy a Yorkie bar from a shop owner. The shop owner pursues to test her to see if she is a man or a woman by asking a variety of questions, such as explain the offside rule.


Pot Noodle Advert – “the sl*g of all snacks” and “the horn”


Pot Noodle advertisements are also reputed to be extremely politically incorrect, with many of their advertisements having been banned from television. Similar to the Yorkie bar, the popular British instant noodle snack has previously used politically incorrect marketing. The company has previously labelled the snack “the sl*g of all snacks”, an incredibly offensive word, which offended many people. Countless complaints were submitted, which lead to the withdrawal of the campaign.

Despite the offensive label, the company also produced a television advert that was deemed sexist. The advert involved a man whose wife will only make him sandwiches. Because of this, the man walks through a red-light district, in search of someone else who make him a Pot Noodle. 

The Guardian claim that during 2002, the advertisement was the most complained campaign of the year, as it reached “a record [of] 310 people contacte[ing]d the ITC to complain about the use of the word “sl*g”.

In addition, another advert created by Pot Noodle shown obvious sexual innuendos that were showcased before the national watershed that is 9 PM.


Pepsi advert – Pepsi protest advert

American company Pepsi faced huge backlash in 2017, due to an advert that was focusing on selling a soft drink during a protest. Starring model Kendal Jenner, people were quick to react due to the “blindness” of the advertisement, as protests are a common way of minority groups standing up against the current political system.

The advert shows Kendal Jenner being herself – a model – in which she walks through a protest that contains a mixture of minorities (ethnic minorities, religious minorities, sexual minorities…). Furthermore, Jenner finally opens the soft drink and hands it to a police officer which the protesters cheer in support of.

Many people disapproved of the advert, as it was showcased during the Black Lives Matter movement – a controversial movement in America over police brutality towards ethnic minorities. The advert was instantly pulled by Pepsi, with the company conveying “Pepsi was trying to project a global a message of unity, peace, and understanding”. Moreover, the model also received backlash in which she apologied as well.


[Image is owned by Concept Photo and purchased by Shutterstock]

Candle maker of the year shares tips on how to manage a small business during the pandemic

We are living in an unpredictable time where a deadly virus has forced the world into a global pandemic.

During this time, corporate businesses have taken advantage of everyone being locked at home. Research FDI states that Amazon has reported a 70% increase in earnings in the first nine months of 2020. Moreover, Global News claims that Facebook revenue has increased 48%, due to the surge in digital ad spending as consumers shopped online.

On the other hand, small business owners have not matched the success corporate businesses have achieved. Statistics from Statista show that as of April 2020, nearly one-quarter of all businesses temporarily closed or paused during the pandemic.

Additionally, simply business claims that 61% of small business owners have had serious financial concerns at some stage of the pandemic, and 81% of small businesses said they have not had enough support from the government.

Nevertheless, some small businesses have managed to maintain success during the pandemic.

Amy Howden is the owner of a successful candle business – that is eco-friendly – located in Widnes. The business owner has not only managed to maintain success in her business throughout the pandemic but has also managed to grow her company.

Moreover, The Starlight Candle Company has been not only been promoted in Vogue, but has ben sent to independent store Flying Solo in New York , and has won many awards such as at the Candle Company of the Year at the Northwest and Manchester Prestige Awards 2020/2021.

However, a key reason why her business has been so successful in the pandemic is mainly due to her products. Howden explains that selling home-based products has been an advantage to her company, as “everyone was stuck at home; everyone started to spend their money on products that can be used at home instead of things like family days out or holidays”.

“Candles are a home product, and as everyone was at home people wanted to make their houses smell nice”.

The Starlight Candle Company sells various candle products – that have countless range of scents that once lit or melted, reach all around the house.

One of the most important pieces of advice Amy suggests is to search for, and if available use all of the government funds that are available to you specifically during the pandemic.

Howden stressed to “definitely be on the lookout for government grants or loans that are available at the moment”. The businesswoman was eligible to use the bounce back loan scheme (BBLS) – a scheme that is now withdrawn. The scheme “absolutely helped me and my business” as it enabled small businesses to access finance more quickly during the pandemic.

Nevertheless, the candle maker has noticed that since restrictions have eased her sales have “slightly” been impacted. However, Howden expressed the importance of using social media to market her company and products.

“As more people go back to work, and restrictions are easing, fewer people are staying at home meaning fewer people are buying stuff for their households. But social media has definitely helped me. Using free tools such as Facebook, and Instagram is beneficial for any small business”.

More importantly, Amy conveyed that word of mouth is her most impactful source of marketing as a small business owner. 

“I think word of mouth has definitely helped me the most. What has helped the business is , myself, my friends, or my family spreading the name of my business to their friends or family”. 

You can visit the Northwest and Manchester Prestige Awards candle company of the year 2020/2021 here.