Perfume ads spark uproar: Tasteless, uncouth say industry experts and Bollywood celebs

Published on Jun 06, 2022 04:14 PM IST

A perfume brand’s two new ads have left social media users as well as celebrities enraged because it has innuendoes of a woman being sexually harassed by a group of men. Ad makers and viewers in general, share their thoughts about using violence against women as a means to promote a product.

A till from one of the new ads by a perfume brand that has left social media users as well as celebrities enraged as it has innuendoes of women being sexually harassed by a group of men.
A till from one of the new ads by a perfume brand that has left social media users as well as celebrities enraged as it has innuendoes of women being sexually harassed by a group of men.
ByAngela Paljor, New Delhi

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.

Celebs including Farhan Akhtar, Priyanka Chopra and Richa Chadha have called out the perfume brand for releasing objectionable advertisements. (Photos:Twitter)
Celebs including Farhan Akhtar, Priyanka Chopra and Richa Chadha have called out the perfume brand for releasing objectionable advertisements. (Photos:Twitter)
Perfume ads spark uproar: Tasteless, uncouth say industry experts and Bollywood celebs
Perfume ads spark uproar: Tasteless, uncouth say industry experts and Bollywood celebs

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

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