Boots apologised after a advert appeared to encourage shoppers to buy sex toys for their mums for Mother’s Day.
Retired prison officer Andrew Whiting was scrolling through his news feed on Wednesday when he had to ‘do a double-take’ at the sponsored post.
An assortment of brightly-coloured vibrators were attached to the post, alongside the caption “for every kind of mum”.
The 53-year-old from Fife, Scotland, found the campaign ‘extremely inappropriate’ – and his sister branded it “disgusting” too.
Despite this, Andrew admits he couldn’t help but laugh at the saucy marketing fail.
Boots apologised for any ‘offence caused’ and explained that a ‘technical error’ meant two separate adverts were combined into one.
Andrew, from Fife, Scotland, said: “Maybe some mothers are in for a shock on Mother’s Day.
“I spotted it on my Facebook [news feed]. I just did a double take.
“I couldn’t believe what I saw at the bottom of the advertisement.
“When I first saw it, I laughed. It seemed quite funny.
“But then I saw the little girl who was in the picture and I thought ‘that’s a little inappropriate’, especially when this advertisement is going out to [users] on Facebook in the UK.
“I’m pretty broadminded and I do like a laugh. I think it’s really funny actually, but inappropriate if it comes up on someone’s timeline who could be upset by it.”
The former prison officer worried curious kids might be driven to ask their parents what the phallic products are.
Andrew said: “I had to do a double-take. First of all, I saw the pictures and thought ‘what are these’ then on closer inspection you find out what they actually are.
“When I saw the photo of the young girl on the picture, I thought [it was] slightly inappropriate.
“My sister made a comment to say it was disgusting.”
He added: “There could be young kids who are now going to their mums saying ‘mummy, what’s this?’
“I can imagine a young child going to their dad saying ‘can we get one of these for mum’ and not knowing what it is.
“I know they come in all shapes and sizes, but I just looked at the photo [again] now and they look really weird.
“Maybe flowers would be sufficient. It’s extremely inappropriate.
“I take it this won’t happen again. It’s just one of these anomalies that can happen.”
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A Boots spokesperson said: “We are really sorry for any offence caused by this advert.
“This mistakenly appeared after a technical error combined two separate adverts into one. It was a targeted advert that was only seen by a small number of customers and it was removed as soon as we realised the error.
“We have put measures in place to ensure mistakes like this do not happen again, and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
Facebook were contacted for comment.