Jack and Jones India pulls off sexist ad featuring Ranveer Singh
Ranveer Singh, bollywood’s hearthrob, featuring in an advertisement with a girl slung over his back, with the tag “Don’t hold back, take your work home” reeked of sexism and the youth-focused brand Jack and Jones had to withdraw the advert along with apologies.
Made by advertising agency Marching Ants, the billboard put up in 12 cities across the country, promotes brand’s formal range of shirts. The creative features Singh dressed in formal attire carrying a woman on his shoulders about to enter an elevator as the suggestive copy states ‘Don’t Hold Back, take your work home’. The woman, also dressed in Western formals, is shown smiling while the elevator boy, smirking, is shown opening the door.
However, soon after the release of the advertisement since November 19, public took it to twitter and Facebook express their displeasure on the blatant sexism portrayed in the ad. Many users started posting photographs of billboard accusing the brand of being utterly sexist and objectionable. A Bollywood actor Siddharth also put out his contempt for such sexist advert.
— Siddharth (@Actor_Siddharth) November 20, 2016
— ElsaMarie (@elsamariedsilva) November 19, 2016
The ad was also reported to the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), the advertising industry watchdog. The company eventually withdrew the ad on November 21 and individually tweeted to the complainants apologizing for causing distress.
— JACK & JONES INDIA (@JackJonesIndia) November 22, 2016
Regret that one of our billboards has caused distress, we did not intend to offend anyone. #NOTHOLDINGBACK and withdrawing it immediately.
— JACK & JONES INDIA (@JackJonesIndia) November 21, 2016
“As a progressive brand that is loved by youth the world over, we take our responsibility of always being respectful, as seriously as we do our bold attitude. We regret that a billboard of our current campaign has caused people distress. We did not intend to offend anyone, and have discontinued it immediately,” said Vineet Gautam, country head, Bestseller India which markets and sells brands such as Jack and Jones, Vero Moda and Only India, in an email response to Live Mint.
According to ASCI code advertisements should contain nothing indecent, vulgar, especially in the depiction of women, or nothing repulsive which is likely, in the light of generally prevailing standards of decency and propriety, to cause grave and widespread offence.
This is not the first time a brand has been accused of crossing the line, or as they say in ad fraternity, taking the creative freedom a bit too far. Ford India, deodrants, mango drinks etc have been a few of sexism prevalent advertisements.