An ad run by Audi during Super Bowl 51 was originally released last Wednesday and had already garnered millions of views before its Super Bowl airing. The commercial shows an ambitious, young girl competing with the neighborhood boys in a soapbox derby.
— Audi (@Audi) February 6, 2017
Her onlooking father thinks to himself about all the ways in which his daughter will fall short in the workforce compared to men. His thoughts spiral into the numerous ways society has held women back in the past and could hold her back in the future. The commercial finally ends with Audi announcing its commitment to “equal pay for equal work.”Image Credit: Screenshot/Audi
Sunday evening, celebrities took to the Twitter to sing the commercial’s praises:
Aaaah this Audi USA commercial on equal pay is every single freaking excellent thing in the world.
— Aisha Tyler (@aishatyler) February 6, 2017
— Constance Zimmer (@ConstanceZimmer) February 3, 2017
And the usual left-leaning organizations chimed in, as well:
— Lean In (@LeanInOrg) February 6, 2017
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) February 6, 2017
But Audi still had to answer to critics online. Several Twitter users brought up the fact that Audi doesn’t have a single woman on its Board of Management:
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) February 6, 2017
And others noticed that Audi seemed to say that it does not pay all of its female employees the same amount as male counterparts:
You pay your female employees less than males? You know that's against the law, right?
— AunT Phibian (@TueborFrog) February 1, 2017
It was Audi’s response to this specific tweet that now has more than a few people raising eyebrows. Audi responded to the women’s question above with this:Image Credit: Screenshot/Twitter
Followers quickly noticed the gaping hole in Audi’s argument. They also noticed Audi’s response is exactly what libertarians and conservatives alike have been saying about the issue of “equal pay” for years.
Right-leaning critics of the “pay gap” argument believe figures like the infamous “79 cents for every dollar” statistic have already been proven to be misleading. Their criticism draws from studies showing the statistic does not account for the various factors that go into pay. The amount of pay one employee receives over another, studies have shown, also do not include the different career paths women take in comparison to men.
Some Twitter users pointed this out to Audi:
— Harry Khachatrian (@Harry1T6) February 4, 2017
— Aaron Bandler (@bandlersbanter) February 4, 2017
exactly the point. Women at Audi work different jobs which accounts for the perceived unequal pay. You made our point.
— Katie Hileman (@KathleenHileman) February 2, 2017
According to Audi’s tweet, the company agrees with the conservative viewpoint about “equal pay,” but its commercial shows a clear disconnect. In this case, Audi is not practicing what they preach–in more ways than one.