The University of Sussex Students’ Union (USSU) has apologised after ‘sexist’ beermats were found in Dig-In Boxes in Freshers’ Welcome Bags.
The beermats were provided by Brush Box, an oral hygiene subscription service. They were deemed ‘sexist’ by one Mumsnet user and on other social media.
The beermats feature a woman’s mouth with toothpaste dripping out accompanied by text that reads:
Whether you spit or swallow as part of your (twice…) daily oral regime, place your oral health on autopilot with Brushbox.
USSU released a statement on Twitter which read: “We were very disappointed to find this promotional material in our Dig-In boxes, and we will be reviewing our relationship with the supplier in future.”
In a later statement, USSU said: “The Students’ Union at Sussex does not support or condone the inappropriate material distributed on behalf of Brushboxes [sic] which was found in the Dig-In Boxes delivered to all Freshers this year.”
The University of Sussex said: “We can absolutely see why this promotional material in our Students’ Union’s freshers packs has sparked such a strong reaction.
“We’re sure this discussion will continue and that our Students’ Union and other student unions will feed back the reaction to the company responsible.”
Brush Box has also responded by saying: “We are really sorry if anyone has been offended by the promotional image used on the beer mat which was distributed to Universities. We now realise it was inappropriate and misguided of us to use this type of image as a way to raise awareness of dental health issues.
“We completely understand that the image could be deemed as derogatory to women and for that we are truly sorry – this was never our intention, and we take full responsibility for any upset it has caused.
“BrushBox is a company which prides itself on its family and ethical ethos and we are very disappointed that something which was meant to encourage good health habits amongst students has caused any offence.”
Dig-In provides a box of samples and promotional materials to Freshers on behalf of USSU. These were included in over 6,000 welcome bags this year. The bags are packed by a team who may not have opened these Dig-In boxes.
Image from Anderson Mancini: Wikimedia Commons.