An advert for French TV station France 3 designed to highlight the roster of female presenters on the channel has been criticised for "being sexist".

In the 38-second promo, originally tweeted by the France 3 Twitter account, various homes are seen in states of disarray in what is implied is due to these professional women neglecting their household duties.

Examples include an oven catching fire, clothes burning under a hot iron and the bathroom toilet seat both up and lacking toilet paper – all whilst 1970s French disco hit"Where are the women?" plays in the background. Words come up saying "They are on France 3", before the final line appears on screen, "Most of our hosts our hostesses".

The advert has attracted a negative backlash since being posted online, with many criticising the video as sexist for suggesting that households suffer if women are working. One commenter on Twitter labelled the video as "distressing" and "nothing more than a bunch of sexist clichés!".

France's women's minister, Pascale Boistard, also took to the social network to criticise the ad, saying: "The idea behind the ad — that professional women are neglecting their household duties— does not seem like a good way to promote professional equality."

New head of France 3, Delphine Ernotte, the first woman to hold the role, immediately apologised, claiming she had not seen the ad before it was published and pulling the plug on plans to broadcast the promo on TV.

Ernotte is known for her efforts to combat sexism in the workplace. Le Monde reports that in her previous job as head of telephone company Orange, she introduced €10 (£7, $11) fines every time a sexist remark was made at an executive committee meeting.