This piece features screengrabs of “Elf Behaving Badly”.
It wouldn’t be Christmas in the sordid year of 2017 without a gross man ruining it, and so Poundland delivered the goods on its Facebook and Twitter feeds.
Using a plastic elf with a suspiciously innocent expression, the discount store’s questionable publicity campaign objectifies women, and has been putting out generally inappropriate content for a family shop pretty much every day this month.
Here are some of the worst:
Photos: Twitter screenshots
— Poundland (@Poundland) December 14, 2017
Some didn’t find the elf an entertaining bit of marketing, with Twitter users accusing Poundland of “poor taste”, being “dodgy/crude” and “clickbait arseholes”, “taking sexism to a whole new level”, “losing their minds” and “inciting violence” and depicting “sexual assault” – with one user claiming to have reported the most recent one (involving a teabag) to Twitter and the police:
Report the last one by @Poundland to @twitter & the police. That’s what I’ve done & I would expect any sensible company would withdraw it, apologise and donate a substantial sum to an Abused Woman’s Support Charity
— Connie Nolan (@feistywomankent) December 21, 2017
has @Poundland been hacked….. their recent adverts on here have been in rather poor taste……
— mark howsham (@MarkHowsham) December 21, 2017
When asked about the offensiveness of the campaign, Poundland’s marketing director Mark Pym commented:
“The love on Facebook has been overwhelming, and that’s because it connects with our shoppers. We’re proud of a campaign that’s only cost £25.53 and is being touted as the winning marketing campaign this Christmas!”
This gleeful response further suggests that Poundland is deliberately courting controversy for a bit of publicity (yes, I know I’m providing that in this very piece), but this is no reason to ignore it. With a huge chunk of its products being for children, it may regret running such a campaign – particularly when the recent case of Paperchase being shamed by consumers led it to changing its practices.