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Outrage bubbles over Pakistan detergent ad

AFP/Islamabad
Filed on June 24, 2019
Outrage bubbles over Pakistan detergent ad

(AFP)

Social media was abuzz on the issue, with many lambasting its message of women's rights.


An international detergent brand has come under fire for an advertisement questioning gender stereotypes in the country, with critics denouncing the company for allegedly insulting the religion.

The commercial for Ariel soap, owned by US-based Proctor & Gamble, calls for women to break free of norms and pursue careers.

Ad promotes women's rights


. A detergent brand ad calls for women to break free of 'conservative' norms and pursue careers has sparked angry reactions from people.

. The commercial ends with a close-up shot of the Pakistan women's cricket team captain Bismah Maroof saying: "Stay within the house... these are not only sentences but stains".

. Twitterati called for boycotting Ariel, while others called for regulators to censor or remove the ad.

In the ad, several women representing different professions - including a journalist and doctor - are seen pushing dirty sheets hanging on a clothesline off the screen.

The sheets are printed with common refrains used to reinforce the alleged oppression of women, including the question "What will people say?", which heralds scandal every time a woman chooses to challenge gender norms.

The commercial ends with a close-up shot of the Pakistan women's cricket team captain Bismah Maroof saying: "Stay within the house... these are not only sentences but stains".

Social media was abuzz on the issue, with many lambasting its message using the hashtag "#BoycottAriel" on Twitter. Raja Moazzam added: "Please take action against these liberals, who (are) prompting liberalism in Pakistan".

Others called for Pakistani regulators to have the commercial officially censored and removed.

The company did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Women in Pakistan have fought for decades to secure their rights.

The Ariel advert is not the first time a major company has faced backlash in the country over its stance on women's rights.

Ride-sharing app Careem came in for its share when it released a lighthearted ad earlier this year showing a runaway bride, the caption reading: "If you want to run away from your wedding, book a Careem bike!" Critics filed a legal petition against the ad, calling it an "unethical promotional campaign". - AFP







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