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Centre asks Twitter, YouTube to take down obscene deo ad

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting found that the ads violate Rule 3(1)(b)(ii) of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021, and are detrimental to the portrayal of women in the interest of decency or morality.

SNS | New Delhi |

The Centre has asked Twitter and YouTube to take down video advertisements of a deodorant brand Layer’s Shot for their alleged obscene content.

“It has come to the notice of the ministry that an inappropriate and derogatory advertisement of deodorant is circulating on social media. The ministry has asked Twitter and YouTube to immediately pull down all instances of this advertisement,” the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting tweeted, attaching the email it has sent to the platforms.

Also, the TV channel on which it appeared has already pulled it down on the directions of the Broadcasting Ministry, another tweet said. The move by the Ministry came after the advertising body Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) found the advertisements going against the existing codes.

The ministry found that the ads violate Rule 3(1)(b)(ii) of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021, and are detrimental to the portrayal of women in the interest of decency or morality.

The video has been watched around a million times and has been shared in other social media platforms, the Ministry said in the email to the platforms.

“The ad is in serious breach of the ASCI Code and is against the public interest. We have taken immediate action and notified the advertiser to suspend the ad, pending investigation,” the email said.

The ad was brought to the notice of ASCI via Twitter by some viewers on Friday, as per a report.

Earlier in the day, a notice from Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chairman Swati Maliwal said the DCW has taken suo moto cognizance of a misogynistic advertisement of the perfume brand being played repeatedly in mass media.

According to DCW, this advertisement is clearly promoting sexual violence against women and girls and encouraging a rapist mentality amongst men.

“The advertisement is cringe-worthy, and should not be allowed to be played on mass media”, wrote DCW.

The DCW has registered an FIR in the matter and has also sought detailed action taken report on the matter by June 9. It has also written to I&B Minister Anurag Thakur about the controversial advertisement.

“I request you to kindly urgently act on the matter. These advertisements need to be taken off the air without any further delay. Also, robust systems should be built to ensure certain checks and balances to make sure that such filthy advertisements that promote rape culture are never played again on mass media”, wrote the DCW letter to Anurag Thakur.

“One of the ways to ensure that companies refrain from playing such dirty tactics for cheap publicity would be to impose a heavy penalty on this particular company for its anti-women advertisement. I am of the view that this step of the Government will create a strong deterrence and discourage other companies from creating similar cringe-worthy misogynistic advertisements,” the DCW added.