Outrage in India over body spray ads for 'promoting rape culture'

Edited By: C Krishnasai
New Delhi Updated: Jun 05, 2022, 11:07 AM(IST)

Screengrab of the controversial ad by Layer'r Photograph:( Agencies )

Story highlights

Several people turned to social media to voice their outrage against two advertisements by Layer'r Shot perfume that sought to promote sexual violence against women

A body spray advertisement triggered massive outrage in India for seemingly promoting rape culture.

Several people turned to social media to voice their outrage against two advertisements by Layer'r Shot perfume that sought to promote sexual violence against women.

The first ad shows a group of men standing behind a woman at a grocery store saying, “There are four of us, but there's only one, who will get a shot”.

Overhearing the conversation, the woman turns around in anger and fear when the ad reveals that they were discussing the last remaining bottle of the body spray.

The second advert takes a step further by showing a girl sitting with a boy in a room when suddenly four boys barge in and ask a crass question, ‘you have taken a shot, it seems”, leaving the girl shocked. One of the men then proceeds to take the 'Shot' perfume kept on a table, hinting they were talking about the spray the whole time.

It was the second ad that triggered massive anger with many saying that it promoted ‘rape culture'.

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Following the outrage, advertisement sector regulator ASCI the controversial advertisements saying that it "was potentially in serious violation" of its code.

"The said ad is in potential violation of ASCI's chapter II, which states that advertisements should contain nothing indecent, vulgar, especially in the depiction of women, or nothing repulsive which is likely, in the light of generally prevailing standards of decency and propriety, to cause grave and widespread offence," said a statement from ASCI.

The Information and Broadcast Ministry has asked Twitter and YouTube to remove from their social media platforms the videos of these advertisements.

In letters to Twitter and YouTube, the ministry said that the videos were "detrimental to the portrayal of women in the interest of decency and morality" and in violation of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code).

The ASCI said that it's Consumer Complaints Council shall adjudicate whether or not the advertisement is in breach of the code and pass appropriate order accordingly, after giving a reasonable opportunity of hearing to the advertiser of Layer'r Shot.

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