Two ads of a perfume brand have irked social media users, including celebrities, who have stated that the ads are in bad taste and intended to promote sexual violence against women. In response to the growing outrage, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting urged YouTube and Twitter to take down the ads from their platforms, a move that is being welcomed by many.
“Under normal circumstances, I’m against all kinds of censorship. But, in this particular case, I have a strong view because India has a terrible record of crimes against women. Anything that could instigate, legitimise or make fun of violence against women must be taken down,” says ad guru-filmmaker Pritish Nandy.
Adding to it, ad man Piyush Pandey, says, “It’s an idiotic, uncouth and totally irresponsible ad. Disgusting to say the least. Things have to be done tastefully. Romance needs to be handled tastefully. And in an acceptable norm of the society.”
Calling ads of this kind “truly disheartening”, Priscilla Ghazes, 30, a lawyer, says, “On one hand, we are breaking glass ceilings in every field, and on the other hand, ads like these surface, reflecting that the mindset regarding women remains regressive and violent.”
Shweta Advani, 34, an HR consultant, is of the view that “showing women as a sensual and desirable object has been a consistent way to market products”, but young minds are “impressionable” and one needs to be careful about the content being put out.
Author tweets @AngelaPaljor