A national press ad produced by Fathers4Justice, which accused the online parenting group Mumsnet of labelling men as paedophiles, has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority.
The ‘Say it with hate this Mother’s Day’ campaign ran in March this year and featured an unhappy toddler with a multitude of negative words scrawled on his body, including ‘wife beater’, ‘alcoholic’ and ‘rapist’.
The fathers’ rights group intended for this to demonstrate that Mumsnet was a source of anti-male content, claiming in the ad: “We believe that the general sexist labelling of men and boys as 'rapists', 'paedophiles' and 'wife beaters' is as unacceptable and offensive as racism and homophobia.”
In a statement the ASA said: “We contacted Mumsnet, who reiterated that they did not tolerate any kind of prejudice on the site and this included any kind of gender bias, but users did need to bring this to their attention if action was to be taken.
"We considered that whilst some users of the website had made negative comments about men in its forums, it was misleading of Fathers4Justice to imply through this ad that Mumsnet themselves had made or endorsed those comments.
"We therefore concluded that the ad breached the code. We asked Fathers4Justice not to imply that forum postings on Mumsnet's website indicated endorsement or support from the website itself."