"Patronising" Better Together ad ridiculed on social media

An ad in support of the Scottish independence referendum's 'No' campaign has sparked a social media backlash, with many describing it as patronising to women.

The Better Together campaign: Criticised over a current advert
The Better Together campaign: Criticised over a current advert

The ad, entitled ‘The Woman Who Made Up Her Mind', is aimed at floating women voters and was created by the Better Together campaign, which supports continued union with the UK.

It features an actor sitting in her kitchen complaining that the Scottish independence question is all her husband will talk about at breakfast time and that she does not have "time to think" about how to vote.

The ad immediately gave birth to hundreds of memes using stills from the ad and the Twitter hashtag #patronisingbtlady, along with less-than-flattering captions:

As well as:

The memes were gleefully retweeted by both nationalists and those who simply wanted to have fun at the ‘No’ camp’s expense.

Even supporters of the Better Together camp were put off by the tone of the ad, describing it as "awful".

Jo-ann Robertson, MD of public affairs at Ketchum, is pro-union but said: "The tone of voice and the body language of the actor were just awful and the way the actor portrayed herself was patronising."

But Robertson defended the content of the ad and said it had captured the essence of what some women were saying. She said: "The ad was not to my taste but not because of the content. The things the actor was saying are what women are saying. This is how a lot of women feel: finding time to get to the bottom of it all is hard."

Robertson said she had not been impressed by the level of debate from the official ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ campaigns in the lead up to the vote on 18 September.

"There has been no mature debate from either camp, which is a shame because there is a huge level of interest from the public. I think any ads will have limited impact in terms of convincing people how to vote. What will be more important is family and friends debating the question."

The latest polling from You Gov suggests 51 per cent of Scottish voters are against independence while 38 per cent are in favour and 11 per cent  are undecided.

A spokesman for the Better Together campaign dismissed suggestions that the ad had alienated women, and added: "We are using [the ad] at events across the country and it is on our Facebook page. The nationalists don’t like our broadcast. That is hardly surprising."

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