The back-to-school ad, which ran in all provinces besides Quebec, showed a man deciding the fate of prisoners in an Asian jail.
He is seen at a desk with a line of prisoners waiting to see if he will pardon them or condemn them. When he goes to pardon one prisoner, his pen fails him. An attractive female then shows up at the door and the man leaves with her after condemning the prisoner.
The tagline of the ad reads: “Want things to go smoothly? Get a Bic pen with Easy-Glide ink.”
Bic Canada began hearing from viewers who were offended by the ad almost immediately after it began airing on Monday. By Tuesday afternoon, the ad had been pulled.
“People just found it offensive,” said company spokesperson Linda Kwong. “…We’re trying to do the right thing.
“We’re not proud of the ad.”
Most of the complaints received stated that the ad was “racist”, “insensitive”, and “tasteless”.