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Tone Deaf Harmon/Kardon Ad Suggested Women Shouldn’t Be Listened To

This ad for harmon/kardon’s noise-cancelling headphones is so… tone deaf. It features an image of their “soho” headphones with the names of the Beatles inside the cans with Yoko on the outside. There’s a similar image in the campaign with Kurt on the inside and Courtney on the outside, referring to Cobain and Love, respectively.

It seems like the ads suggest to people, “Hey, you should listen to these dudes, forget these other women that totally ruined their work and everything they’ve ever done.” It’s disgusting that ads like these can make it past what is sure to be multiple teams of people and not one person says, “Uh… this isn’t cool.” It’s like these ads came straight out of Mad Men.

peggy mad men headdesk


To their credit, harmon/kardon has announced they’re pulling the ads. They were apparently only running in a few local markets, so it’s possible these ads didn’t get much exposure.

Still… I can’t believe that they paid for this. Maybe that’s why their headphones are so expensive.

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Jessica Lachenal is a writer who doesn’t talk about herself a lot, so she isn’t quite sure how biographical info panels should work. But here we go anyway. She's the Weekend Editor for The Mary Sue, a Contributing Writer for The Bold Italic (, and a Staff Writer for Spinning Platters ( She's also been featured in Model View Culture and Frontiers LA magazine, and on Autostraddle. She hopes this has been as awkward for you as it has been for her.