#BicFail: Pen maker offends with women's day salute in South Africa

bic pen controversy south africa mckenzie pkg_00001722
bic pen controversy south africa mckenzie pkg_00001722

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Bic's 'sexist' ad: Act like a lady, think like a man 01:53

Story highlights

  • Bic faces backlash over National Women's Day salute in South Africa
  • Many saw ad saying "Think like a man" as a sexist message

(CNN)Bic South Africa sure learned how to pen an apology in a hurry this week.

An ad celebrating the country's National Women's Day backfired, delivering what many folks considered to be a sexist message.
Here's the mantra that got the company in such deep trouble: "Look like a girl. Act like a lady. Think like a man. Work like a boss."
    Bic was quick to apologize. Quicker still were women to write off the company's excuse.
    "Let's start out by saying we're incredibly sorry for offending everybody - that was never our intention, but we completely understand where we've gone wrong," Bic South Africa said on Facebook. "This post should never have gone out."
    One tweet flipped the equation on Bic: Look like a boy. Act like a man. Think like a woman. Work like a boss.
    "I think the litmus test for brands should be if would it work if the roles are reversed. #absurd, isn't it? #BIC," JanetBr posted.
    Bic also found itself in trouble a few years back with a line of Bic for Her writing implements -- pens just for women.
    Ellen DeGeneres had a field day with it in 2012.
    "They have a new line of pens called Bic for Her. This is totally real," she mused. "I know you're thinking, 'It's about damn time. Where have our pens been?'
    "Can you believe this? We've been using man pens all these years."