Samsung apologises for 'tone deaf' advert showing a woman running alone at 2am

The advert received criticism from women's safety campaigners and running groups

The Samsung 'Night Owls' campaign shows a woman waking up at 2am to go for a run through dark city streets. Photo: Samsung / YouTube
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Samsung has apologised for an advert showing a woman out running in the early hours.

The advert, which shows a woman waking up at 2am to go for a run through dark city streets, has attracted criticism from safety campaigners and women’s running groups who have branded it “unrealistic” and “tone deaf”.

The company apologised, telling a UK radio station that it had not intended to "be insensitive to ongoing conversations around women's safety."

"We apologise for how this may have been received," it told BBC Radio 1’s Newsbeat show.

"The 'Night Owls' campaign was designed with a positive message in mind: to celebrate individuality and freedom to exercise at all hours."

The advert sparked particular criticism in light of the death of Ashling Murphy, who was killed while out for an afternoon run in Ireland in January.

After her death, the hashtag #shewasonarun trended on social media, with women sharing their own stories of being harassed while out running.

Esther Newman, editor of Women's Running magazine, told the BBC that the advert was "not representing the truth".

"Women don't run at that time because we are too scared to," she said.

"It's really shocking. I don't know any woman who would be running at 2am in the morning. Certainly not in a city.”

Another criticism was that the advert showed the woman running in headphones.

"Wearing headphones is a contentious point,” Newman told the BBC. “Most women runners I know don't wear headphones, and that's during the day, because they are concerned about their safety."

Replying to criticism on social media, Samsung said: "We can assure you that the meaning for this advert is for all Galaxy customers/viewers to achieve their health and wellness goals on their own schedules."

Updated: April 29, 2022, 10:42 AM