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Choosing the perfect Mother's Day gift can be tricky and lots of us flock to social media for inspiration. One man, however, had the shock of his life when an unusual Mother's Day gift ad popped up on his Facebook feed.
Retired prison officer Andrew Whiting was scrolling through his news feed on Wednesday when he had to 'do a double-take' at the Boots ad, which featured four colourful vibrators of various shapes and sizes below the slogan 'for every kind of mum'.
The 53-year-old claims that while he found the campaign 'extremely inappropriate', he couldn't help but laugh at the racy 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.
"To be honest, I didn't even think Boots sold anything like that. Maybe they've had to branch out with the lockdown."
The adverts full caption 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'.
Underneath it, an image appeared to show a toddler holding hands with her parent and looking longingly through a glass door at her grandmother - with a line-up of 'really weird' looking sex aids underneath.
After highlighting the marketing 'anomaly' on social media, Andrew's own sister posted that the mistake was 'disgusting'.
"Maybe flowers would be sufficient. It's extremely inappropriate," Andrew said.
Andrew's own mum sadly died over 20 years ago.
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."
A Facebook spokesperson said: "We do not allow adverts that promote the sale or use of adult products. We review millions of ads and posts each week, and unfortunately we occasionally make mistakes as has happened here."
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