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Govt pull down sexist ad after social media outrage

One of the boys then picks up a bottle of the body spray named ‘Shot’ and the girl heaves a huge sigh of relief.

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New Delhi: The Ministry for Information and Broadcasting on Saturday asked Twitter and YouTube to immediately pull down two objectionable advertisements for the body spray ‘Layer’r Shot’ after they came under fire from social media users saying both “promote rape culture”. 

In one of the advertisements, four boys are seen stalking a girl in a store. They have a conversation while standing right behind her, _“Hum char, aur ye ek! Shot kaun lega!”. The conversation of the boys visibly scares the girl. 

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One of the boys then picks up a bottle of the body spray named ‘Shot’ and the girl heaves a huge sigh of relief.

In the other advertisement, a teen couple is seen making out in their room, when four of his friends open the door and say “..tune shot mara lagta hai?”, the boy say “haan”, his friend says: “Ab hamari baari”. Again the girl in the feature appears to be in discomfort and then heaves a sigh of relief, as the friend mentions the deodorant shot.

The I&B Ministry said: “It has come to notice of @MIB_India that an inappropriate and derogatory advertisement of a deodorant is circulating on social media. Ministry has asked Twitter and YouTube to immediately pull down all instances of this advertisement.

“The TV channel on which it appeared has already pulled it down on directions of @MIB_India.”

Twitter users have been outraged by the advertisement that have been slotted amid the New Zealand vs England cricket match.

One Twitter user said: “Pathetic sexist ad! How can a brand joke on rape & gang rape? What was the agency thinking and what was the brand doing while approving? Nonsense!…”

The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chairperson Swati Malliwal earlier in the day shot a letter to Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur in connection with the objectionable method of promotion by the company and demanded immediate ban.

Maliwal also issued a notice to the Delhi Police Cyber Crime for immediate registration of FIR in the matter and removal of the content from mass media. She also asked for filing of an action taken report by June 9.  

The advertisement has been receiving flak from various quarters for showing content that outrage modesty of the woman.

Taking suo-moto cognizance of the matter, the DCW chief urged Thakur for banning the advertisements from mass media besides building a robust systems to ensure certain check and balances to make sure that such advertisements that promote “rape culture” are never played again on mass media.

In her letter, she said that a heavy penalty should be imposed on this particular brand so that other companies refrain from playing dirty tactics for cheap publicity.

Malliwal also said: ‘I am shocked !The advertisements promote gang rape culture.”

AAP MLA from Malviya Nagar, Somnath Bharti, tweeted: “The ad maker, approver, shot owner, media telecasting this sick ad all deserve to be criminally tried for displaying and promoting such a disgusting way of launching a product. Such ads are also responsible for making society unsafe for women!”

Another Twitter user said: “How does this kind of ads get approved, sick and outright disgusting. Is @layerr_shot full of perverts? Second ad with such disgusting content from Shot.”

One Twitter handle said: “There have to be some regulations for ads man. That Shot deo ad is nothing short of disgusting actually. Even though I knew it was an ad and it wouldn’t happen. The fear for a second I felt was real. Imagine making an ad on the fears of millions of women! 

Another said: “The latest series of SHOT perfume ads are repulsive. Almost suggesting rape. Imagine stuff like this cleared all checks and balances and made it to TV. What world are we living in?”

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