Layer’r Shot ad to be removed from TV, social media for promoting rape culture
- The I&B ministry ordered Twitter and Youtube to remove Layer’r Shot ads from social media and television
- The ads referring to an apparent sexual innuendo suggesting gang-rape
- The ASCI stated that the ads violated their rules against offensive advertising
The ministry of information and broadcasting sent a letter to Twitter and Youtube on May 4 demanding the removal of advertisements for the perfume Layer’r Shot from social media and television channels alike. The order came after outrage over the ads on social media and the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW)'s appeal.
The first advertisement begins in a store where four men spot the last bottle of the perfume, and discuss which one of them will take the “shot”. Referring to an apparent sexual innuendo suggesting gang-rape, a woman is shown in the frame instead, appearing to be repulsed by their exchange.
The second ad follows a similar storyline, with four men barging into a room occupied by a couple, asking to “get a shot”.
While the I&B Ministry termed the advertisements “inappropriate” and “derogatory”, the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) also suspended the advertisements earlier in the day, and launched an investigation after they were alerted by Twitter outrage over the matter. They went on to state that the ads violated their rules against offensive advertising.
A statement from ASCI declared that it specifically went against its chapter II code, which prohibited anything of “indecent” or “vulgar” nature, particularly involving women. However, besides alluding to the sexual nature of the advertisement, the statement made no mention of the promotion of sexual violence.
The message of these ads is relevant to the rape culture pyramid, which initally starts from the normalization of activities such as rape jokes and catcalling. Such behaviour, when excused, escalates to atrocities such as rape and assault. The propagation of misogyny is not uncommon in mainstream Indian media, as seen in an earlier ad by the Indian bridal wear brand Mohey. It portrayed actress Alia Bhatt and promoted “Kanyadaan”, or the "giving away" of the bride.