Saurabh Verma lauded for refusing misogynistic Layer'r SHOT ad, reacts
Netizens lauded actor Saurabh Verma after he turned down a controversial body spray advertisement. Verma was supposed to audition for men's body spray brand Layer'r SHOT's advertisement but he turned down the offer calling the script "misogynistic." After the ad aired, the brand received severe backlash on social media. It has been criticized for promoting rape culture through "outrageous" and "poorly-penned" advertisement campaigns.
Why does this story matter?
- Some of the biggest Bollywood actors have been linked to brands and advertisements that aren't considered good for the general health and well-being of people.
- This is not the first time that a brand has labeled a non-sensical gimmick as an advertorial campaign.
- However, Verma being an actor who has appeared in small-scale films has won hearts for turning down a potential financial project.
Verma's friend shared his story online
Abbas Mirza, Verma's friend who is a senior creative director at a digital marketing agency shared his story on LinkedIn. He shared screenshots of Verma's WhatsApp conversation with the casting agent where he asked for a change in the script. His post mentioned that if others involved in the project had "the spine" to do the same, none of the advertisements would've been aired.
Following backlash, advertorial was taken down across platforms
Unlike the others involved, Verma followed his moral compass well before the advertisement could air and garner controversy. Eventually, after the advertisement was brought to people's notice, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry urged YouTube and Twitter to take down the ads, stating that it was "detrimental to the portrayal of women in the interest of decency and morality."
Advertisement was 'wrongly perceived by some,' clarified the brand
After the situation blew out of proportion, Layer'r SHOT put out a statement clarifying that they didn't intend to "hurt anyone's sentiments or modesty" and that the advertisement was "wrongly perceived by some." While the need to call out advertisements with poor agendas has come around much later than expected, it sure is a step forward in the right direction.
Read the brand's clarification here
'I just used my common sense,' said 'surprised' Verma
Verma, who is not on social media, was unaware that his story was trending. He told the Indian Express, "I just used my common sense. I am right now too surprised at how everyone has been lauding me." The actor continued by saying that he didn't think it was just a big thing and that he "never expected it to blow up this big."