Samsung slammed over 'tone deaf' and 'disrespectful' ad of woman running alone at night

29 April 2022, 08:23 | Updated: 29 April 2022, 08:29

Samsung has received backlash after it launched a new campaign
Samsung has received backlash after it launched a new campaign. Picture: Samsung

By Emma Soteriou

Samsung has received a backlash after it launched its "disrespectful" Night Owl campaign showing a woman running alone at night.

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The advert shows a woman running through the streets of London in the early hours by herself while wearing Samsung headphones.

It ends with her saying: "I run on a different schedule: mine."

The tech giant has since faced extreme criticism for the "tone deaf" campaign in light of the death of Irish teacher Ashling Murphy, who was killed on a run in January in Tullamore,

The 23-year-old's death - along with the murder of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa - sparked calls for a change in tackling gender-based violence.

It led to the hashtag #shewasonarun as women shared stories about being harassed while out running.

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Jamie Klingler, co-founder of Reclaim These Streets, said: "It's so tone deaf, especially in light of Ashling Murphy's death.

"It's disrespectful. It isn't safe for us to run at night."

Referring to a scene in the ad when a man on a bike rides up behind the woman and they interact,

Ms Klingler added: "That's the bit that really made me wince. It's almost laughable how bad this ad is."

She said the ad "absolutely should be pulled".

Esther Newman, editor of the Women's Running magazine, said: "I can't imagine any woman wanting to run at that time, anywhere, certainly not in a city.

"It seems like a really naive advert. In theory it's a lovely idea (to be able to run at 2am). In reality, it's not happening."

Samsung said: "The Night Owls campaign was designed with a positive message in mind: to celebrate individuality and freedom to exercise at all hours.

"It was never our intention to be insensitive to ongoing conversations around women's safety.

"As a global company with a diverse workforce, we apologise for how this may have been received."