Halifax News Net illustration A sample of two of Mic Mac Mall's new ads, which are causing harsh online criticism about the way they depict young women.

Mic Mac Mall’s back to school ad campaign that has drawn criticism for being sexist are being pulled.

The brightly coloured ads feature illustrations of young female shoppers, and contain phrases such as “Mixing patterns ­– now that’s a science!” and “Social Studies? Does posting my new boots on Facebook count?”

The campaign’s depiction of female students has been met with some sharp criticism online.

But in a statement released Thursday afternoon by marketing director Rebecca Logan, the mall is now in the process of pulling all of the ads off of radio, TV, newspapers, billboards and online. She said they “are sincerely sorry for offending its customers.”

“We’ve heard what our customers have to say and we understand why you’re angry. It was never intended to be offensive,” Logan said in the statement.  “Because we want to regain your trust and show how much we care for our community and girls’ education, we plan to donate $5,000 to a local organization that focuses on empowering girls. We’ll announce the group we choose by early next week. In the meantime, we’d love to hear from our community about which organizations we should consider.”

Many people took to online to criticize the ads.

“Your back to school ad campaign is kind of humiliating,” tweeted one local resident.

“You would think that ‘girls are dumb but love shopping!!!’ pitch would have gotten questioned at SOME point, but no,” wrote another.

In an interview with Halifax News Net on Wednesday about the ads, Logan said the campaign’s intent was to “generate awareness and excitement for back to school shopping.”

“The concept was to correlate school related subjects to shopping and our strong social media presence in a humorous and light hearted manner,” she said. – with files from Halifax News Net

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