I&B Ministry orders removal of controversial Layer'r Shot advertisement
The Information & Broadcasting Ministry has taken cognizance of the controversial Layer'r Shot deo advertisement and ordered its suspension. It has also launched an official inquiry into the matter as per the norms of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI). On Friday, the ASCI also said, "The ad is in serious breach of the ASCI Code and is against public interest."
Why does this story matter?
The disputed video was first brought to light by a Twitter user who, in a series of tweets, lambasted it for its blatantly misogynistic and sexist undertones. Reports suggest that the controversial ad was first broadcast during some recent cricket matches. The advertisement, which featured five boys and a girl, allegedly hints at a gang rape, with "shot" being a euphemism for forced sex.
I&B Ministry wants the advertisement off the internet
The ministry has also sent letters to microblogging site Twitter and video-sharing platform YouTube, ordering the immediate removal of the commercial, reported Hindustan Times on Saturday. The "video is detrimental to the portrayal of women in the interest of decency or morality" and violates the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, the ministry reportedly noted in its letters.
The ad is facing backlash due to its sexist nature
First pulled up by Twitter user @hitchwriter and uploaded by @monikamanchanda, the 15-second ad features a couple in a room. They are soon joined by four boys who question their friend if he "took a shot." The camera then promptly cuts to the woman's horrified and flustered face, who becomes immediately cautious and worried. Eventually, it is revealed the "shot" meant a deo spray.
Take a look at the clip here
The clip invited Twitter users' indignation
The clip quickly went viral and was thrashed for promoting male chauvinism and insensitivity toward women through the suggestive remarks. Several netizens called the ad "horribly wrong," "uneasy to watch," and "extremely sickening," and wondered why was the commercial sanctioned in the first place. A user also tagged the ASCI, which promptly responded that swift action will be taken in the matter.
Another Twitter user uploaded a similar clip
Delhi Commission for Women took suo moto cognizance
Swati Maliwal, the Chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women, had also written to I&B Minister Anurag Thakur, asking for his immediate action to take the ad off the air. Reacting to the clip, she tweeted, "I am shocked! What disgraceful and pathetic advertisements are being served on our television screens. What is this creative process that promotes toxic masculinity in its worst form."