Sweden's Advertising Ombudsman has rebuked a Stockholm company for sexism after it used the "Distracted Boyfriend Meme" as part of an advert.

Sweden’s Advertising Ombudsman (RO) has rebuked a Stockholm company for sexism after it used the popular “Distracted Boyfriend Meme” as part of a recruitment advert.

The image, known by online communities as “Distracted Boyfriend Meme”, is based on a stock photo of a young man turning away from his appalled girlfriend to look at another woman. Internet users routinely place their own text on the photo in order to humorously illustrate different situations and dynamics.

Swedish internet service provider Bahnhof used the popular image as part of a jobs advertisement; in Banhof’s take on the meme, the boyfriend was turning away from “your current workplace” to stare approvingly at Bahnhof.

Hardly sexist or offensive, right?

Not according to the Swedish authorities, who have ruled against Banhof and issued an unintentionally hilarious rebuke of the advertisement.

According to Sweden’s advertising watchdog RO, the use of the meme is “gender-discriminatory“, because it presents women as “interchangeable” and “sex objects” and if that wasn’t bad enough, it also presents “a stereotypical picture of men seeing women as interchangeable“.