Hours after people criticised perfume advertisements of a brand for allegedly promoting rape culture, actor-filmmaker Farhan Akhtar, actor Richa Chadha and singer Sona Mohapatra tweeted as well. Farhan called out the creators for their ‘tasteless and twisted minds’. Taking to Twitter, Farhan wrote, “What incredibly tasteless and twisted minds it must take to think up, approve and create these stinking body spray ‘gang rape’ innuendo ads..!! Shameful.” (Also Read | Twitter is ‘disgusted’ by perfume ads promoting rape culture: ‘Most terrible ad in history of television’)
Sharing a tweet, Richa Chadha wrote, “This ad is not an accident. To make an ad, a brand goes through several layers of decision making. Creatives, script, agency, client, casting… Does everyone think rape is a joke? Revelatory! This brand, the agency that made this ad need to be sued for the filth they’re serving.”
Sona, sharing a tweet, wrote, “Theme – Gang-rape. Gagging after I saw it here on my Twitter timeline & wondering if giving them additional publicity is worse.”
The body spray advertisement called by the brand Layer’r in one ad showed a couple having an intimate moment inside a room. Three men entered and hinted that they will take a shot as well. As the woman feared that they spoke about her, one of the men took a perfume bottle.
In another ad, four men were shown in a store, standing behind a woman. The men then said, “There are four of us, but there’s only one, who will get a shot”. It then shows the visibly shocked woman turning to them uncomfortably when one of them went to grab a single bottle of perfume kept on a rack. Earlier, Instagram user Smish Designs shared the two ads on their account. The ads were streamed on television during the England vs New Zealand cricket series.
The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has already ordered the suspension of the advertisement, as per news agency ANI. An inquiry has also been initiated as per the advertising code. Social media reported a lot of outrage over the advertisement, forcing the government to take action.
I&B Ministry, in a letter addressed to Twitter and YouTube stated, “The above-mentioned videos are detrimental to the portrayal of women in the interest of decency or morality, and in violation of rule 3(1)(b)(ii) of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, which inter-alia provides that the users shall not host, display, upload, modify, publish, transmit, store, update or share any information which is insulting or harassing on the basis of gender.”
“It may be mentioned that the concerned videos were also broadcast on TV. In this regard, the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), the body which lays down the Code for self-regulation in advertising on TV in accordance with rule 7(2)(ix) of the Cable Television Network Rules 1994, has also found the video to be in violation of its guidelines. In this regard, ASCI has notified the advertiser to suspend the ad on an immediate basis,” the letter further said.
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(With Inputs from hindustantimes)