Boots apologises for advert on treating mothers to sex toys on Mother's Day 3 months ago

Boots apologises for advert on treating mothers to sex toys on Mother's Day

A staple of the British high street, Boots have been forced to apologise over an ‘inappropriate’ Mother’s Day gift advert

It's part of the British sensibility to be left blushing at the slightest bit of embarrassment, but this one tickled us - figuratively, of course...


Boots is arguably the biggest health and beauty retailer in the UK, but even veterans of the industry suffer the occasional a cock-up or two.

In this case, it came in the form of a Boots Facebook ad that 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", before displaying a number of colourful vibrators just below.

The advert was spotted by the unsuspecting Andrew Whiting - a 53-year-old man from Fife, Scotland - who joked "some mothers are in for a shock on Mother's Day." After simply scrolling through his news feed and doing a quick double-take, he went on to contact Boots.

Naturally, he admitted that his immediate reaction was one of laughter, before adding, rather humorously: "I didn’t even think Boots sold anything like that. Maybe they’ve had to branch out with the lockdown."

Eventually, he did go on to realise that there could be the awkward scenario of kids going to their parents and asking "mummy, what’s this?”, or asking dads, "can we get one of these for mum".


After it was brought to their attention, a Boots spokesperson said: "We are really sorry for any offence caused by this advert" and blamed a technical error that merged two automated adverts into one.

They went on to reassure anyone offended that they "have put measures in place to ensure mistakes like this do not happen again, and apologise for any inconvenience caused."

Facebook were also contacted regarding the gaff and stated that although they do not display adverts for adult products, saying "we review millions of ads and posts each week, and unfortunately we occasionally make mistakes as has happened here."

Ultimately, the advert came down to nothing more than a mistake. To be honest, we're slightly relieved it wasn't someone's tongue in cheek marketing idea - that would have been a really awkward interview to navigate.