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This Bloomingdale's Ad Is Causing an Uproar

This exact ad pictured below was published in Bloomingdale's new holiday catalog — and it's caused instant backlash on the Internet.

According to The Washington Post, Bloomingdale’s issued a quick apology in response to the controversy.

"In reflection of recent feedback, the copy we used in our recent catalog was inappropriate and in poor taste," a spokesperson said.

Sarah Murnen, a psychology professor at Kenyon College in Ohio, brought the image into the gender studies class she teaches.

"The way he's looking at her is definitely a leering manner," she said. "And is saying 'best friend' supposed to make them gender-equal? It's sending the message that it is it okay to have sex with people who are incapable of consent. These are decisions that should be made consciously and willingly."

The Washington Post reports that Justice Department data shows that drug-facilitated rape is one the most commonly reported kind of sexual assault.

MAKER Jean Kilbourne, author, speaker and filmmaker internationally known for her work on the image of women in advertising, said, "[the catalog] shows how deep these attitudes run and how subconscious they are, really."

She continued, "I doubt the person who created this was consciously thinking about sexual assault. Male or female, whoever it was who came up with this — and the many people who okayed it — just don't get it. Date rape is still a huge problem — and yes, there's more attention paid to it than before, but not enough attention."

Discover Kilbourne's exclusive MAKERS story above.

NEXT: 13 Epic Must-Read Celebrity Responses to Body Shaming »

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Photo Credit: Gerardo Mora via Getty Images