Social media platforms YouTube and Twitter have been told to take down a controversial body spray ad called ‘Shot’ by brand Layer’r. The ad has been called out on social media for promoting rape culture. According to people familiar with the matter, letters have been sent from the government to both platforms stating the ‘video is detrimental to the portrayal of women in the interest of decency or morality’ and that it is in violation of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules of 2021.
An inquiry is being held by the concerned regulatory body – in this case, the Advertising Standards Council of India.
Meanwhile, Swati Malilwal, the chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women, has said: “(Layer’r Shot) Deodorant advertisement blatantly promotes the rape mentality in the country. We’ve issued notice to Delhi Police that FIR must be registered & ad must be immediately taken down from all platforms.”
According to Twitter users, the ads were broadcasted during the England vs New Zealand cricket match. Both the ad show women in a ‘tough spot’, getting scared that they will be sexually assaulted or harassed by a bunch of men making suggestive comments.
The first ad starts with a couple in the bedroom. Shortly after, four of the guy’s friends enter the room and ask the ‘boyfriend’, “Shot maara lagta hai (Seems you took the shot)?” He replies that he did, leaving the woman in shock. One of them then rolls up his sleeves and begins to approach the bed saying, “Ab humari baari (Now it’s our turn).” The woman recoils in fear, perhaps of being attacked but the ad then reveals that the man was just picking up the perfume bottle from the dresser.
The second ad is shot in a grocery store where a group of men are seen having a conversation, standing behind a woman. One of them says, “Hum char aur ye sirf ek (We’re four and this is just one)”, when another man asks, “To shot kaun lega (Who will take the shot)?”. The girl, overhearing the conversation, turns around in anger and fear when the ad reveals they were discussing the last remaining bottle of the body spray.
Social media users have reacted strongly to both the advertisements with many questioning the people in charge of approving the idea.
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