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Bic Apologizes for Sexist Ad on South Africa's Women's Day

  • Reuters

FILE - Bic permanent markers on display at a Staples Office Supply store in Springfield, Ill., Aug. 24, 2009. The pen manufacturer has apologized for a post on its South African Facebook page on Women's Day that has been heavily criticized for being sexist.

FILE - Bic permanent markers on display at a Staples Office Supply store in Springfield, Ill., Aug. 24, 2009. The pen manufacturer has apologized for a post on its South African Facebook page on Women's Day that has been heavily criticized for being sexist.

Pen manufacturer Bic has apologized for a post on its South African Facebook page on Women's Day that has been heavily criticized for being sexist.

Bic's post featured a picture of a smiling woman in a suit next to the caption: "Look like a girl, act like a lady, think like a man, work like a boss" and included the tag #HappyWomensDay. It was deleted after a welter of criticism.

Feminist activist Caroline Criado-Perez, who campaigned for a female face to be put on British banknotes, was among those who expressed their indignation on Twitter.

"What fresh hell is this?" she said, and then: "seriously? 'think like a man' ... *stabs eyes out with bic pen*".

Bic initially defended its position by saying the slogan was borrowed from a women's business blog but later deleted the post and apologized.

"We’re incredibly sorry for offending everybody — that was never our intention, but we completely understand where we’ve gone wrong,” Bic posted on its South Africa Facebook page.

The apology also elicited criticism online.

This is not the first time Bic has been accused of sexism. The launch of a pink pen "for her" in 2012 was criticized for adhering to out-of-date stereotypes.

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