Axa caught in Instagram row after IWD paid post

Insurer faces criticism after a paid International Women’s Day post by male blogger Father of Daughters.

Axa UK has been embroiled in a row on social media channel Instagram after sponsoring an account called Father of Daughters to post about International Women’s Day (IWD).

At the time of writing, the paid post had 1,069 comments, with people criticising the insurer for paying a man to post about female empowerment.

One of Axa UK’s own posts about IWD has also received a large number of negative comments from followers.

One of the comments read: “I really hope you address the situation with using a man to advertise Axa on IWD. Not only that but the same man who then used his daughters to plug it.”

The advertisement is also criticised for linking to a song by American rapper Nas, who was accused of domestic violence by his ex-wife, singer Kelis, in 2018.

Gender pay gap 
Commentators also questioned what the insurer is doing to improve its gender pay gap figures. 

In its 2019 gender pay gap report, published on 7 February 2020, Axa UK stated that women working at the provider earn 20% less than men in median terms and 23% less in average terms.

In addition, the insurer noted that when it comes to bonuses, women receive 25% less than men in median terms and 43% less in average terms.

Axa also said that its gender distribution across leaders and executives was 63% male and 37% female as at 5 April 2019.

A spokesperson for Axa UK told Insurance Age: “International Women’s Day was celebrated by Axa all over the world. As a company, we are committed to gender equality and support the empowerment of women globally.

“Our social media campaign was designed to be inclusive: we strongly believe that women and men need to be involved in the battle for parity.

“It certainly wasn’t intended to offend anyone, particularly those who are passionate about such an important issue in our society. We can reassure them that our corporate activities and events have showcased female role models.”

Father of Daughters is run by blogger Simon Hooper and the Instagram account has 988,000 followers.

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