British retailer Joy has been widely criticized for what was meant to be a tongue-in-cheek "Meet The Parents"-themed holiday style guide sent out to e-mail subscribers. Some cringe-worthy highlights include encouraging women to dress like "marriage material" and to cover their breasts to stop one's father-in-law from having a "heart attack." The brand has since apologized to customers. But, as it turns out, Joy might have some more explaining to do in regards to its holiday marketing. Last month, Refinery29 U.K. spotted a sign at the retailer's Brixton branch that read: "Q. Why is Santa always so jolly? A. He knows where all the bad girls live."
Given the tone of the rest of the campaign, this holiday signage was likely meant to be cheeky. However, it doesn't quite read that way in a political climate where, across the pond, the U.S. president-elect has boasted about grabbing women "by the pussy" in the past and has repeatedly accused of sexual harassment and assault. Frankly, it comes across as particularly insensitive. Joy has 25 stores across the U.K. and though it's gaining worldwide attention for the sexist tones of its e-mail ad, which was criticized for harkening back to societal norms of the 1950s, it's not the first time the retailer is at the center of controversy. Joy came under fire back in 2014 for a Twitter exchange with a customer that appeared to mock people with bipolar disorder, the Independent reported. Refinery29 U.K. has reached out to Joy for comment and we will update our story when it responds.