A women’s group is crying foul over a Washington, D.C. Metro advertisement depicting a woman as only interested in shoes.
The billboard, located in the city’s Metro Center station, features two women discussing the reliability of Washington Metro Area Transit Authority buses.
“A Metrobus travels about 8,260 miles between breakdowns. Didn’t know that, did you?” asks the first woman.
“Can’t we just talk about shoes?” asks the second woman.
The caption under the pair explains, “We get it. You’re probably not talking about out increased bus reliability. Why would you? But thanks to an enhanced inspection program, battery upgrades, and cooling fan conversions, our buses just keep going and going.”
According to the women’s advocacy group UltraViolet, the ad is just plain sexist.
“These new ads by Metro Forward are not edgy, they are sexist, stupid and offensive,” Shaunna Thomas co-founder of UltraViolet said in a statement. “The PR failure shows just how little Metro Forward thinks of its everyday passenger, and highlights how out of touch the system is with the DC-area residents that they serve.”
Thomas further called on Metro Forward — an ad campaign aimed at informing its customers about the improvements to Metro — to take down the ad.
Earlier Tuesday, the DCist blog first highlighted the “casual sexism” of the billboard. A Metro spokesperson responded by telling the outlet, “The point of the ad is to get people talking about Metro’s massive rebuilding effort by juxtaposing technical facts with a variety of light responses in conversation between friends.”
According to the DCist, Capital News Service political correspondent Lucy Westcott first caught the ad Tuesday.