Ad promoting gangrape joke sparks row; I&B Ministry orders suspension

The Delhi Commission For Women had written to Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur demanding that the "misogynistic" advertisement being played on mass media be taken off the air.
Ad promoting gangrape joke sparks row; I&B Ministry orders suspension
Screengrab of the advertismentTwitter

CHENNAI: The Information and Broadcasting Ministry ordered the suspension of a controversial deodorant advertisement with gang rape jokes and misogynistic comments.

The Delhi Commission For Women had written to Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur demanding that the "misogynistic" advertisement being played on mass media be taken off the air.

The advertisement shows a couple sitting on a bed when four more boys enter the room. One boy asks, "Shot mara lagta hai!" (Looks like you've hit the shot) and the boy sitting on the bed says, "Ha, mara na" (Yes, I have). Another boy among the four says "Ab hamari bari" (Now, it's our turn) and moves towards the girl.

Following this, the girl appears to be shocked and uncomfortable with the series of events. Thereafter, the boy picks up a bottle of body spray and the girl looks visibly relieved as she just got saved from getting gang raped!

In another advertisement of the same brand, four boys are seen stalking a girl in a grocery store. They have a conversation while standing right behind her, "Hum char, aur ye ek! Shot kaun lega!" ( We are four and shot is one. Who will take it ?). It is shown in the advertisement that the conversation between the boys scares the girl. Again, similarly, the boy then picks up a bottle of the body spray and the girl heaves a huge sigh of relief.

The misogynistic ad has come under severe criticism from netizens and the women's panel has also issued a notice to the Delhi police to take proper action.

Government asks YouTube, Twitter to take the ad down:

The government has asked Twitter and YouTube to take down two controversial videos which sparked a massive controversy.

"The video is detrimental to the portrayal of women in the interest of decency or morality, and in violation of the 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 based on gender," the Ministry wrote.

The video has since been viewed close to a million times and also shared on other social media platforms, it said.

"It may be mentioned that the concerned videos were also broadcast on TV. In this regard, Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), the body which lays down the Code for self-regulation in advertising on TV following rule 7(2)(ix) of the Cable Television Network Rules 1994, has also found the video to violate its guidelines. In this regard, ASCI has notified the advertiser to suspend the ad on an immediate basis," the letter further stated.

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