Boots Slammed as 'Inappropriate' After Facebook Ad Suggests Buying Vibrators as Mother's Day Gift

A Facebook user spotted a Boots ad featuring vibrators as gift suggestions for Mother's Day on his news feed.

A man received the shock of his life when an unusual Mother's Day gift suggestion from Boots appeared on his Facebook feed, prompting an apology from the British health, beauty and pharmacy chain.

Andrew Whiting was scrolling through his Facebook feed when he saw a Boots ad featuring adult sex toys as gift recommendations for Mother's Day.

The ad featured four colorful vibrators of various shapes and sizes below the slogan "for every kind of mum." The post was captioned, "The advert's full caption read "looking for the perfect gift for your miles-away Mum? Or your near-but-far Mum? Wherever she is, we've got something she'll love."

The post was accompanied with an image appeared to show a toddler holding hands with a woman appearing to be her mother while looking at her grandmother through a glass door.

Boots ad
The Boots ad that showed up on Whiting's Facebook news feed. Twitter

'Extremely Inappropriate'

Whiting slammed the ad as "extremely inappropriate."

"Maybe some mothers are in for a shock on Mother's Day.I spotted it on my Facebook [news feed]. I just did a double take. I couldn't believe what I saw at the bottom of the advertisement," Whiting said. "When I first saw it, I laughed. It seemed quite funny. But then I saw the little girl who was in the picture and I thought 'that's a little inappropriate', especially when this advertisement is going out to [users] on Facebook in the UK."

"I'm pretty broadminded and I do like a laugh. I think it's really funny actually, but inappropriate if it comes up on someone's timeline who could be upset by it," he added. "To be honest, I didn't even think Boots sold anything like that. Maybe they've had to branch out with the lockdown."

Boots Issues Apology, Facebook Admits 'Mistake'

Boots apologized for any "offence caused' and explained that a "technical error" meant two separate adverts were combined into one.

"We are really sorry for any offence caused by this advert," a Boots spokesperson said. "This mistakenly appeared after a technical error combined two separate adverts into one. It was a targeted advert that was only seen by a small number of customers and it was removed as soon as we realized the error.

"We have put measures in place to ensure mistakes like this do not happen again, and we apologize for any inconvenience caused," the spokesperson added.

Meanwhile, a Facebook spokesperson released the following statement: "We do not allow adverts that promote the sale or use of adult products. We review millions of ads and posts each week, and unfortunately we occasionally make mistakes as has happened here."

Related topics : Facebook