After an uproar online, Bakers Delight was forced to dump an ad featuring two girls covered in Christmas lights with cake stuffed in their mouths.
A photograph of the advert was taken over the weekend at Currambine Central shopping centre in Perth and submitted to Collective Shout, a grassroots organisation protesting against women’s objectification and girls’ sexualization.
Among those who posted the picture on social media was Caitlin Roper, the Collective Shout campaign manager and PhD candidate.
“Frightened looking tween girls essentially bound and gagged to sell lemon tarts? Is your marketing team made up of misogynists, Bakers Delight?” she wrote.
The commercial was described by Collective Shout as “chilling”
“It trivialises the serious issue of the abuse and torture of children. Did Bakers Delight consider how survivors of child abuse might feel about this promotion?” they said.
“This has gone beyond a joke about quieting noisy children with sweets.
“It normalises the stereotype of ‘noisy’ women who need to be silenced, in this case with food shoved in their mouths.”
The commercial angered many individuals and posted social media messages, calling out the bakery chain for its offensive ads, labelling it disgusting and disturbing.
Bakers Delight was forced to withdraw the ad and give an apology.
As a family-owned business, Bakers Delight does not condone family and/or child abuse in any form and we are deeply concerned that some parts of our current marketing campaign may have caused offence,” the statement read.
“Trivialising an important issue like child abuse was never our intention and we apologise to anyone we may have inadvertently upset.
“Listening and responding to feedback from our customers is how we continually improve as a business and as a result, we have instructed our bakeries to remove the poster as soon as possible.”