Clothing company responds to backlash over its ‘insensitive’ video advertisement: ‘Truly disgraceful’

Dillon Thompson
·3 mins read

A medical apparel company is facing backlash over a “sexist” advertisement targeted at female doctors.

The retailer, Figs, has apologized and removed the “insensitive” video from its website, after hundreds of nurses, doctors and medical students sounded off against the ad online.

In the now-removed clip, a female doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.), can be seen modeling a pair of scrubs while reading a book, titled “Medical Terminology for Dummies.” The doctor also appears to be reading the book upside down.

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The video immediately spawned reactions on Twitter, including from med student Brenna H, who called it “unforgivable.”

“As a current DO student and future physician, the disrespect for female physicians and DOs exhibited in this ad (attached since it was removed from your website) is unforgivable,” she wrote. “I will not be supporting FIGS, and encourage all those who purchase scrubs to join me.”

Brenna H’s post drew hundreds of retweets, and responses from other medical professionals.

Some called the ad “truly disrespectful” or a “total disgrace,” while others said they’d be boycotting Figs for the foreseeable future.

Many took issue with the video’s portrayal of a female doctor, while others were more offended by its treatment of D.O.s.

Doctors of osteopathic medicine, who are licensed physicians in all 50 states differ from medical doctors (M.D.s) in their training and their approach to medicine. D.O.s take a more holistic approach to treatment, looking at the entire body rather than specific symptoms.

The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine issued its own statement in response to the ad. On Facebook, the group demanded an apology from Figs.

“We are outraged that in 2020, women physicians and doctors of osteopathic medicine are still attacked in thoughtless and ignorant marketing campaigns,” the organization wrote on Oct. 13.

Figs apologized for the ad later that day, removing the clip and releasing a statement on Twitter.

“From us, to you. We are incredibly sorry. We are making changes. Together we will move forward,” the company tweeted.

Still, the backlash continued online. Doctors and nurses continued to say they’d protest the brand going forward, with some even removing the Figs branding from their scrubs.

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