Citroen removes ad in Egypt after being panned for promoting sexual harassment
French automaker Citroen has been panned for a video advertisement in Egypt that has been alleged to promote sexual harassment, after which the carmaker took down the video from all its channels and issued an apology, Carscoops reported. The advertisement was meant for promoting the new Citroen C4 and featured Egyptian pop star Amr Diab.
The criticism is focused on a particular part of the video where Diab is seen using the C4's mirror-mounted camera to take a photo of a woman walking on the street without asking for her permission. The video then goes on to depict the pedestrian getting romantically involved with Diab and riding in his new C4.
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The criticism stems from the fact that the video justifies the predatory act of taking picture without consent as an acceptable way of flirting. The ad faced quite a backslash of complaints on Twitter, the report stated. Egyptian actress and writer Rosaline Elbay wrote, “Hi Citroen, this is sexual harassment. You know. The crime?"
Egyptian-American journalist Reem Abdellatif also criticized the ad, saying, “Who thought it would be a good idea to make an ad that enables sexual harassment in a country where 98% of women reported getting harassed at some point in their lives?" However, some people even defended the brand saying that it is just an advertisement and must not be taken seriously.
In its apology statement following the backlash, Citroen wrote, “(We care) for all communities in the countries where we operate and we do not tolerate any form of harassment. We deeply regret and understand the negative interpretation of this part of this film. With our business partner in Egypt, we took the decision to withdraw this commercial from all Citroën channels and we present our sincere apologies to all offended communities by this film."