I&B Ministry asks Twitter and YouTube to take down derogatory ad

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani | | Updated on: Jun 04, 2022

Layer’r Shot commercial slammed by social media users as objectionable

The Information & Broadcasting(I&B) Ministry has directed YouTube and Twitter to pull down an advertisement by deo brand Layer’r Shot for inappropriate and objectionable gender portrayal.

This comes after social media users slammed the ad for its objectionable content promoting “rape culture.”

In its letter to YouTube and Twitter, the I & B Ministry stated that the ad is “detrimental to the portrayal of women in the interest of decency and morality.” It added that the “ad is in violation of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 which “inter-alia provides that the users shall not host, display, upload, modify, publish, transmit, store, update or share any information which is insulting and harassing on the basis of gender.”

It has, therefore, asked Twitter “not to host” tweets containing the concerned videos on its platform. Noting that the video has been viewed close to a million times, it also directed YouTube “not to host” the video on its platform.

The Ministry also said that the advertisement has been broadcast on television and has been found to be in violation of guidelines of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) that lays down the code for self-regulation in advertising on TV in accordance with the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994.

SPI invoked

In a statement, ASCI said it was alerted regarding the ad on Friday and  it immediately invoked a special process called “Suspended Pending Investigation” (SPI). It said it has written to to the advertiser informing them of the decision to suspend the advertising and has sought its response, which will be tabled before the Consumer Complaints Council.

“The said ad is in potential violation of ASCI’s chapter II, which states that advertisements should contain nothing indecent, vulgar, especially in the depiction of women, or anything repulsive which is likely, in the light of generally prevailing standards of decency and propriety, to cause grave and widespread offence,” it added.

“ASCI has received confirmation that the channel that originally aired the ad has already pulled it down,” the self-regulatory body stated.

Earlier in the day, Swati Maliwal, Chairperson, Delhi Commission for Women also flagged two advertisements of the brand in a letter to the I&B Ministry. “ The ad is clearly promoting sexual violence against women and girls and encouraging rapist mentality amongst men. It is cringe worthy and should not be allowed to play on mass media,” she stated in the letter.

Published on June 04, 2022
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