Citroën withdraws Egyptian ad on “harassment of women”, Marketing & Advertising News, ET BrandEquity
French carmaker Citroën on Thursday withdrew an ad featuring Egyptian singer Amr Diab after raising numerous accusations of promoting harassment of women.
In the announcement posted on Egyptian social media in early December, the 60-year-old pop star uses a camera installed in the car’s rearview mirror to secretly take a photo of a woman crossing in front of the vehicle.
The woman is clearly not giving consent to the photograph, but Diab is shown smiling at the image as she appears on her phone. He then invites the woman to join him in the car.
The ad was criticized on social media in a country where around 90% of women aged 18 to 39 said they had been harassed in 2019, according to a survey by research network Arab Barometer.
“Taking a photo of a woman without her consent is scary,” women’s rights activist Reel Abdellatif wrote on Twitter. “You allow sexual harassment. “
Another critic, Ahmed Tawfiikk, asked how the company thought the advertisement was a good idea.
“How did it get approved in the first place?” He wrote, under the Instagram post.
“This is the real problem here. It shows that there is a whole TEAM of individuals who at no point along the way have thought ‘is this appropriate?’ Or ‘there is. is there anything wrong with that? ‘”
On Thursday, Citroën announced that it had deleted the ad.
“We were informed that a scene (…) had been perceived as inappropriate,” Citroën wrote in a statement posted on his Instagram account.
“We make the decision to remove this version from the commercial … and we offer our sincere apologies to all communities offended by this film.”
Online, people continued to criticize Diab, a megastar in the Arab world, for her role in the announcement and her inability to apologize.
“People regard him as an idol and he is well aware of the dangerous situations Egyptian women constantly face,” wrote a Twitter user called Mena.
“It’s alarming that he didn’t see the red flags in this scenario.”
Diab posted the announcement on his social media accounts so that millions of Arabs could access it.