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Quantum Brief

Repeat offender? ASCI pulls up offensive Layer’r Shot deo ad

But the ad has also opened a can of worms. This isn't the first questionable ad created by the brand.

By  Saumya TewariJun 4, 2022 6:33 PM
Repeat offender? ASCI pulls up offensive Layer’r Shot deo ad
Over the years, the deo brands have started taking baby steps away from their sexist ad legacies, to talk about equality and respect. (Representational image: Samantha Sophia via Unsplash)

Layer’r Shot, the deodorant brand from Adjavis Venture Limited, has been pulled up after a user on micro-blogging platform Twitter called out its latest campaign for being sexist, questionable and disrespectful towards women.

"There have to be some regulations for ads man. That Shot deo ad is nothing short of disgusting actually. Even though I knew it was an ad and it wouldn't happen. The fear for a second I felt was real. Imagine making an ad on the fears of millions of women! WTF!," the user wrote.

Can't find the ad online but here it is, apparently being played during the match. I didn't see it till @hitchwriter showed it to me

Who are the people making these ads really?

— Permanently Exhausted Pigeon (@monikamanchanda) June 3, 2022 "Can't find the ad online but here it is, apparently being played during the match. I didn't see it till @hitchwriter showed it to me Who are the people making these ads really?," the user added.

The 30-second feature features a bunch of teenagers walking into a room where a young couple was there. They make suggestive remarks which imply scoring sexual favours from the woman in question.

The ad has opened a can of worms as users on Twitter started posting about the other ads done by the brand previously as well.

One of the users also called the company's founder Devendra N Patel for approving such objectionable ads.

"Found it horribly wrong and uneasy to watch. It’s sickening, actually. There are more in the series. @ascionline please intervene," tweeted another user.

The advertising regulator promptly took to Twitter to respond to the request and stated, "Thank you for tagging us. The ad is in serious breach of the ASCI Code and is against public interest. We have taken immediate action and notified the advertiser to suspend the ad, pending investigation."

Speaking to Storyboard18, Manisha Kapoor, CEO & secretary general, ASCI said that this ad has been processed under suspended pending investigation. (SPI).

"This is used in exceptional circumstances, when it appears prima facie that an advertisement is in serious breach of the ASCI Code and its continued transmission on/through/by any medium causes or has the effect of causing public harm and/or injury or its continuation is against public interest. ASCI has, pending investigation, forthwith directed the advertiser/the advertising agency/the media buying agency and the media concerned to suspend the advertisement. The advertiser has already been written to asking for immediate suspension of the said ad," she noted.

Often synonymous with sexist advertising, male grooming category, dominated by deodorants, has been accused of creating highly sexist, objectionable and stereotypical advertising.

Brands such as Wild Stone, Addiction Deo, Set Wet Zatak (Paras Pharma), Denver Deo and Axe (Unilever) commercials have been called out for being sexist.

The I&B Ministry has also taken cognizance of such advertising and asked the regulator to intervene.

Over the years, the deo brands have started taking baby steps away from their sexist ad legacies, to talk about equality and respect. Axe, which has once relied heavily on ads which showed how Axe made men wildly popular among women, is changing the way it pushes the brand to consumers, adding a larger purpose.

However, there have been occasional bad apples who continue to stick to sexist titillating advertising. Stuck perhaps in old industry beliefs like "sex sells".

An earlier version of this story attributed the ad to Triton Communications. Triton Communications did not make this ad, and the copy has been edited to reflect this. We regret the error.

First Published on Jun 4, 2022 6:33 PM