The government has told Twitter and YouTube to take down two controversial ads by a body spray brand that have triggered an outrage due to their indecent portrayal of women.
"The video is detrimental to the portrayal of women in the interest of decency or morality," said the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
The action by the government came after the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) “suspended” two new Layer'r Shot advertisements “pending investigation” after their content was flagged by several social media users, saying it "promotes rape".
ASCI found the ads in "serious breach" of their code and against public interest.
One of the controversial ads shows a young couple in a bedroom when four men barge in. They then pose a lewd question to the woman with a double entendre on the word ‘Shot’ before picking up the 'Shot' perfume kept on a table, to indicate that they were talking about the spray.
The other ad features the same set of men in a convenience store, standing behind a woman. The men are heard saying "there are four of us, but there's only one, who will get a shot". It then shows the embarrassed woman turning around quite shocked when one of them grabs a single bottle of 'Shot' perfume kept on a rack.
Delhi Commission For Women (DCW) chairperson Swati Maliwal has taken strong exception to the ad. She tweeted that the advertisements reflected “toxic masculinity in its worst form”. She also said that she has taken up the matter with the Delhi Police and Information and Broadcasting Ministry.
Fuming at cringe worthy ads of the perfume ‘Shot’. They show toxic masculinity in its worst form and clearly promote gang rape culture!The company owners must be held accountable. Have issued notice to Delhi Police and written letter to I&B Minister seeking FIR and strong action. pic.twitter.com/k8n06TB1mQ
— Swati Maliwal (@SwatiJaiHind) June 4, 2022