Dads rapped for Mumsnet ‘hate’ ad

A Fathers4Justice press campaign which accused Mumsnet of running abusive anti-male content – branding men rapists, paedophiles and wife beaters – has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority.
The campaigning group ran the national press ad in March this year – under the headline “Say it with hate this Mother’s Day” – featuring a picture of a young lad with various negative words written all over his body including pig, rioter, wife beater and rapist.
Targeting companies which advertise on Mumsnet, the ad claimed the online parents’ forum carried abusive and distressing anti-male content which promoted gender hatred against men and boys.
“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,” the ad claimed, calling on Mumsnet to adopt zero tolerance to gender hatred.
The ASA received 10 complaints that the ad made misleading claims which could not be substantiated, although Fathers4Justice stood by its accusations, arguing that the ad actually underplayed the seriousness of the site’s content.
In its defence, the group supplied a number of screenshots of activity on Mumsnet, and said it believed that Mumsnet was responsible for content posted by users.
However, Mumsnet said it could not possibly monitor every post it received – as many as 25,000 a day – and it relied on other users to report any offensive content which was then taken down.
The ASA said: “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 itself had made or endorsed those comments.”
The watchdog concluded that the ad did breach the advertising code, and ruled it must not appear again in its current form.

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