Samsung running advert sparks controversy as apology issued after viewers brand it 'saddest type of aspiration'

Samsung running advert
(Image credit: Samsung YouTube)

Samsung has been forced to apologise for its latest running advert which shows a woman running ALONE in a city in the early hours of the morning.

The technology firm released the advert as part of its Samsung Galaxy Night Owls campaign that suggests people can do their fitness training "their way" and used a woman choosing to swap her usual run in favour of running in a city alone at 2am as a way of highlighting that its fitness bands and app.

The woman in the video gives the voice over, "Sleep at night, run faster, push harder, follow the herd not for me, I run on a different schedule: mine"

But the brand and its advert has been criticised some women's running groups and safety campaigners for being "unrealistic".

Women's safety group Reclaim These Streets has described it as "tone deaf" in light of the death of Ashling Murphy who was killed on a run in January. The 23-year-old's death in Tullamore, Ireland, opened up the conversation about how unsafe some women feel running alone, especially at night. And the murder of Sarah Everard (opens in new tab) also highlighted how unsafe it can be for women to walk home.

And Samsung has told Radio 1 Newsbeat it was never its intention to "be insensitive to ongoing conversations around women's safety."

"We apologise for how this may have been received. The 'Night Owls' campaign was designed with a positive message in mind: to celebrate individuality and freedom to exercise at all hours," it added.

If you've not yet seen the controversial advert you can watch it below...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnEzVb_AAiI&t=33s

One unhappy runner tweeted, "I've been a runner for decades and I, like every running woman on the planet, have never run at 2am because of the fear of predatory men. Call it what it is - women and girls are in fear of being raped or murdered after dark. This ad is ridiculous."

Another put, "I know ads are supposed to be aspirational, but this is the saddest type of aspiration: buying a Samsung product in the hope that it might magically transport me to a world in which my wife is safe from attack at 2AM."

And a third viewer added, "Even running during daylight has its own issues - countless times I was shouted at or approached by men. Never felt wholly safe regardless of the time of the day."

Selina Maycock
Senior Entertainment Writer

Selina is a Senior Entertainment Writer with more than 14 years of experience in newspapers and magazines. She currently looks after all things Entertainment for Goodto.com, Woman&Home, and My Imperfect Life. Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand. When she's not interviewing celebrities you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories.