Days after the government ordered that the two offensive ads by a body spray brand be taken down, amid suggestions that it was promoting “rape culture”, the company on Monday apologised and said it was not its intention to hurt or outrage any women’s modesty or promote any sort of culture. It added that the advertisements were aired only after the mandatory approval.
The company said it has “voluntarily informed all media partners to stop the telecast/broadcasting of both the TV advertisements from 4th June with immediate effect”.
” We, the brand Layer’r SHOT would like to inform one and all that only after due & mandatory approvals, we have aired the advertisements, wherein, we never intended to hurt anyone’s sentiments or feelings or outrage any women’s modesty or promote any sort of culture, as wrongly perceived by some,” the company said in a statement of clarification.
“However, we sincerely apologise for the advertisement that consequentially caused rage amongst individuals & several communities and beg their pardon, “it added.
The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) found the ads in “serious breach” of their code and against public interest.
Delhi Commission For Women (DCW) chairperson Swati Maliwal said that the advertisements reflected “toxic masculinity in its worst form”.
One of the controversial ads shows a young couple in a bedroom when four men enter without knocking. They then randomly ask a crude question to the woman before proceeding to take the ‘Shot’ perfume kept on a table, hinting they were talking about the spray the whole time.
The other ad features the same set of men in a convenience store, standing behind a woman. The men then heard saying “there are four of us, but there’s only one, who will get a shot”. It then shows he visibly shocked woman turning to them when one of them out to grab a single bottle of ‘Shot’ perfume kept on a rack.
Several actors have also criticized the body spray brand for promoting “gang rape culture” with the “tasteless” advertisements.