Egypt's Cottonil pulls controversial TV ad after backlash

Ahram Online , Sunday 26 Apr 2020

The company pulled the ad following condemnation over what some deemed ‘indecent’ content and sexual innuendos

 Cottonil Egypt
Photo: A screenshot of Cottonil's controversial ad showing Jordanian actress Mais Hamdan (C) dancing (Photo: SnapShot From Youtube)

Egypt’s underwear and lounge-wear brand Cottonil said on Sunday that it was pulling a new controversial TV ad after it sparked backlash on social media and was denounced by authorities and MPs as inappropriate.

“In order to stop the controversy and satisfy the viewers in Egypt, we have decided to indefinitely stop the broadcasting of the advertisement on all Egyptian satellite channels,” the company said in a statement.

Egypt's Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) said it had issued a decision to suspend the ad earlier on Sunday as it “carries clear violation of personal dignity and social customs and traditions.”

The authority said the company's representatives were summoned in the morning to be notified about the decision.

The company pulled the ad only two days after its release following condemnation over what some have described as “indecent” content and sexual innuendos.

The ad, which features Jordanian actress/singer Mais Hamdan, depicts her watching her male neighbor through binoculars while singing praise about his "muscles, strength and masculinity.”

The controversy was caused by a line where Hamdan sings about the man’s undershirts and boxers.

As of Sunday noon, the ad, published on Cottonil's official Facebook page, garnered over 270,000 views and received more than 5,400 ‘angry’ reactions out of a total 7,800 reactions.

The company stressed that it respects public taste and Egyptian traditions and pledged to continue presenting content “appropriate for the authentic Egyptian society.”

A number of Egyptian MPs had earlier called for the ad to be pulled.

MPs John Talaat and Mai Mahmoud filed a briefing request with the prime minister and the information minister over the ad, claiming it violated public morality and constituted a crime of “public indecency,” local media reported.

Egypt's Supreme Council for Media Regulation was due to hold an emergency meeting on Sunday to discuss a report on the ad by its monitoring committee.

Due to the high TV viewership during Ramadan, most companies usually produce special ad campaigns for the season.

Many ads, including Cottonil ads, have been suspended before.

In Ramadan 2016, Egypt's Consumer Protection Agency suspended ads by Cottonil, Juhayna Dairy, Dice Underwear, and Al-Ahram Beverages for "violating Egyptian traditions and customs and public morality."

In Ramadan 2014, a Cottonil ad starring Egyptian comedian Hani Ramzi was suspended after it was deemed inappropriate by social media users.

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