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Wine-and-Condoms Offer for Secretary Day is Off

Convenience chain apologizes for ad in Mexico
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 18, 2019 5:55 PM CDT
People walk past a Circle K convenience store in Mexico City on Thursday.   (AP Photo/Cristina Baussan)

(Newser) – A convenience store chain thought it had just the gift for Secretary Day. "Happy day to all the secretaries," the Circle K ad in Mexico read. "Celebrate with them the proper way with this executive combo." The combos in the ad consisted of a bottle of wine and a chocolate bar, and one threw in a package of condoms. At one spot, "executive combo" was followed by the text, "If you know what I mean," placed next to a cartoon image of a woman's legs and a wink emoji. The ad was posted Monday on the chain's Mexico Twitter account. After a social media outcry, Circle K has taken down the ad, withdrawn the offer, and apologized, the BBC reports.

A Mexican legislator took to Twitter to call the ad sexist for "reproducing gender stereotypes and misogyny by insinuating that the recognition secretaries deserve is of a sexual nature, but also because it promotes sexual harassment and bullying at work." Circle K, an international chain with stores in the US, posted an apology saying that it "deeply regrets" the ad, which it said was not intended "to promote any stereotype whatsoever." The chain said it had taken steps to make sure "something like this does not happen again." The AP explains that "Holidays that celebrate various professions are common in Latin America, particularly Mexico." The US has the less controversially titled "Administrative Professionals' Day" in April. (In Japan, women have objected to an expectation that they'll give chocolates to male co-workers.)

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