Bic South Africa's attempt to celebrate the country's National Women's Day backfired when its not-so-empowering message outraged commentators and left it scrambling to apologize.
The pen maker's advertisement on Facebook Sunday read: "Look like a girl, act like a lady, think like a man, work like a boss," accompanied by an image of a smiling woman, folding her arms.
People quickly began to comment on the post, which has since been deleted.
"Why am I expected to look like a child? Why am I expected to see the world through a masculine lens?" Jes Graham wrote, according to the Sunday Times.
"There are so many different ways Bic could've celebrated women that don't try and dictate how women must live their lives. I'm disappointed."
Twitter didn't take too kindly to the message either, circulating the post well after it was deleted.
srsly, "think like a man" *stabs eyes out with bic pen*— @CCriadoPerez
Bic please, that's not how we roll in 2015. #WomensDay— @Staedtlersa
Bic attempted to apologize, noting that its slogan originated from a blog post by an Australian graphic design firm. The post states, "Thinking like a man aids you to achieve a professional standard in the business world. This is because women who know how to position themselves are more successful."
This statement has also been taken down, though a Facebook user captured it and posted it on her own page.
The women's day gaffe isn't the first time Bic has been accused of sexist advertising. In 2012, Bic launched a pink pen "for her" with "a unique feminine style." The pen provoked ridicule on Amazon reviews and a takedown by Ellen DeGeneres.
"It has given me soft skin and manageable hair and it has really given me the self-esteem I needed to start a book club and flirt with the bag-boy at my local market," reads one Amazon review, while earlier on the page a shopper asks, "Is it safe for my husband to use?"
Bic South Africa tried again with a new Facebook post, writing, "We're incredibly sorry for offending everybody."
A Facebook user then commented, "You should probably rethink your 'Miss Bic Women's Range' while you're at it."
The company advertised the pen line on National Women's Day and the post remains on its feed.