An advertisement outside a future university building in Adelaide [pictured above] which attracted big criticism on social media has been replaced just days after making international headlines.
The ad hoardings outside the old Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) site featured an image of five women surrounding a man talking with his arms raised.
It wasn’t long before the image circulated online, with many describing it as “mansplaining”.
Ad removed from hoarding
The controversial ad — which belongs to Renewal SA — has been replaced with an advertisement for an open day.
The replacement sign depicts the words “experience the new creation and innovation neighbourhood” in an advertisement for a former RAH site open day to held on July 11, featuring demolition tours, virtual reality, 3D printing, immersive art and robotics.
Renewal SA is the State Government’s development body responsible for projects including the old RAH site.
A spokeswoman said the photograph in discussion “was taken from a series of engagement workshops held with real university students to showcase talented students actively expressing ideas for the future of the old Royal Adelaide Hospital site”.
“The image taken was not a staged photo shoot, and intended to help promote the site and attract future business leaders, entrepreneurs, and start-ups to be a part of Australia’s first creation and innovation neighbourhood,” the spokeswoman said.
“In recognition of the personal impact of the social media speculation for the individuals in the image, the image was replaced with details about the upcoming open day, on Wednesday 11 July.
“The images on the hoarding boundary are expected to change over the evolution of the project to reflect our continuous engagement with stakeholders, community and on site activation experiences.”
‘Master of mansplaining’ post made international headlines
The advertisement was noticed around the world with one of Britain’s highest-circulating newspapers, Metro, and the BBC both reporting on the ad.
A photo of the advertisement hoarding was posted on Instagram by a local parody social media account which commented that the “innovative education precinct” now appeared to be offering a “Master of Mansplaining”.
The term ‘mansplaining’ is widely used to refer to a man explaining something to a woman in a way that is considered patronising, arrogant or condescending.
The Instagram post received more than 400 comments with many of those criticisms of way the ad had condoned ‘mansplaining’.
“What the hell were they thinking with this photo?” one user said.
“How was this image approved?!” another user said, while another suggested “it was a room of men who came up with that ad”.
Others were not as unforgiving, with some adopting a more irreverent tone.
“How do you know it is a man? How can you decide gender by appearance?” one said.
Many users also thought the post was being taken too seriously.
“I cant believe a simple joke turned out this way. Original post was hilarious and shouldn’t have been taken so seriously,” one user said.
University distanced itself from ad
The University of Adelaide distanced itself from the advertisement and a spokesperson said it would not be commenting further following its replacement.
Over the weekend a spokesperson said the ad was not linked to the university, and the people depicted were not from the institution.
“The hoarding in which that image appears belongs to Renewal SA, not the university,” the spokesperson said last weekend.
“The photo of the hoarding has been deliberately angled and cropped to suggest that the image is directly related to the university, which it is not.
“Our logo is part of a separate image, which has been cropped out.
“The photo in question on the Renewal SA hoarding is not a university image. It was not supplied by us. It was not approved by us. The people depicted in that photo are not university people.”