Abbas Mirza, senior creative director of Kinnect, a digital marketing agency, shared a true story of his actor friend. In a lengthy post, Mirza praised his actor-friend Saurabh Verma, who turned down a “problematic” commercial.
Mirza wrote that Verma would be a part of the infamous and problematic Layer’r Shot ads.
The ‘controversial’ commercial, which aired on June 4, was criticized for promoting ‘rape culture’.
In a post shared on June 16, Abbas Mirza wrote that his actor friend, Saurabh Verma, turned down the offer after a casting agent approached him to be part of the ads.
According to the screenshot of the Whatsapp chat shared by Mirza, the casting team confirmed that despite Saurabh’s request for a script change, they would go ahead.
After Saurabh Verma’s plea was rejected and the group decided to go ahead with the “problematic” script, the actor turned down the ad.
Mirza wrote: “And for the people who work in advertising and are aware of the power equation between production house and actor, they will understand how daring the question is,”
Mirza’s post also sheds light on the fact that despite a reminder to revise the script, the team went ahead without Verma and continued with their plans to create and air the ad.
Read Abbas Mirza’s full message here:
Both Saurabh and Abbas are winning praise on the internet.
The two ads from the perfume brand Layer Shot sparked outrage among many of its social media users, who claimed the ads sought to promote sexual violence against women.
While the problematic ad was taken off the air, the brand issued an apology, again touted as an apology rather than an apology.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has asked Twitter and YouTube to remove the videos of the publicity from their social media platforms.
In letters to Twitter and YouTube, the ministry said the videos “damaged women’s portrayal in the interests of decency and morality” and violated information technology (guidelines for intermediaries and code of ethics for digital media).
The Ministry of I&B had also said that the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) found the videos to be in violation of the guidelines and asked the advertiser to suspend the ad immediately.
(With PTI inputs)
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