Bic South Africa's 2015 Women's Day campaign, which drew strong criticism on Twitter and Facebook.
JOHANNESBURG - Bic South Africa has been forced to apologise for an offending Women&39;s Day post.
The stationery manufacturer posted an image on Twitter and Facebook calling for women to "Look like a girl, act like a lady, think like a man" and "work like a boss."
But the message ticked several people off - leading to a Twitter backlash.
Me, when I saw that bic ad pic.twitter.com/27v8dwGhAH— Carmen Williams (@Carmzjw) August 11, 2015
The company apologised this morning, saying the message has been taken out of context.
Inspired by Steve Harvey
Bic South Africa marketing manager for stationery, Wandile Setlhodi, said the whole thing is a simple misunderstanding.
"We were trying to be inspirational. We looked at the movie "Think like a man," (which is based on Steve Harvey&39;s book Act like a lady, Think like a Man). It wasn&39;t meant to be deregatory," Setlhodi.
Setlhodi added that while there had been a number of complaints about the post, a number of Bic "fans" were encouraged by the Women&39;s Day message.
"There are some of our fans and followers who did like the post and there are others that didn&39;t," she said.
Setlhodi added that the message in the post had actually been taken from a blog on women in business. She denied that the company was trying to pass the buck.
The company&39;s apology appears to have set even more tongues wagging however, with some commenting that the company wasn&39;t showing remorse.
Facebook user Shelagh Foster said: "If you truly meant it in &39;the most empowering way&39; you are truly deluded and a sad reflection of the narrow, bigoted thinking of your organisations. Is this really a representation of the collective mindset of Bic?"
Another Facebook user, Michelle Baldwin, asked whether the company "took inspiration for a completely sexist advert from a sexist blog article?
"Congrats for failing twice. And stuff your non-apology."
Bic&39;s marketing fail is similar to a recent disastrous Marie Claire campaign in male celebrities posed in heels in opposition to the abuse of women. One of those who posed for the MCInHerShoes campaign was DJ Euphonik - who in 2012 was accused of domestic violence by his then girlfriend Bonang Matheba.