People per Hour, a business focused on matching businesses to freelancers, posted a tube advert with the message ‘You do the girl boss thing. We’ll do the SEO thing,’ which drew 19 complaints from passengers over its patronising tone.
The negative reaction to the campaign, devised by Guerillascope, prompted the firm to cut the word ‘girl’ from the advert and issue an apology after conceding that the chosen approach could be construed as ‘… sexist and demeaning to women’.
Critics included Emma Sexton, chief executive of MYWW, who warned that the ill-conceived messaging risked implying that women were ill-equipped to handle technology.
— Emma Sexton (@emmasexton) November 5, 2019
People Per Hour had argues that use of the term ‘girl boss’ was a reference to a movement set out in the book of the same title by Sophia Amoruso.