Advertisements grab as much attention in Ramadan as TV drama series. The messages they deliver through the few seconds they’re being aired to people is considered as important as the messages sent through films and several art works. Especially in Ramadan, most of Egyptians tend to spend large periods of time watching TV during the day.
Therefore, the competition product companies conjugate, to come up with the most creative marketing campaigns, are fierce, in order to last longer in people’s minds. But the outcome results may not always be on target.
The Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) recently banned an ad belonging to Fox chips company, as it believes the ad promotes domestic violence and spreads a negative image of parenting.
The ad, which is a part of many, shows a scene between a father and his son in a kitchen, in which the teenager tells his father that he gains super powers by eating the chips and can predict the future. As a response, the father strongly slaps him in the face, breaking his glasses, while ironically asking him “then, did you predict this?!”
The ad ends by saying: “Eating Fox chips provides you with nothing, but it tastes so good.”
Just a few days after airing to the public, extreme controversies evolved around the ad. Some people thought it hilariously funny and others believed it was odd and inappropriate, CPA announced, preventing any channel from airing the ad due to the negative vibes it produced.
“This ad is everything we don’t want people to be or learn,” said So’aad El-Deeb, head of CPA. “It promotes violation of dignity and hatred.”
According to El-Deeb, The ad doesn’t fall in line with media code of ethics, as it doesn’t deliver any useful messages to the audience. It teaches parents that it’s okay to hit their children strongly in a way that would break their glasses.
In a report delivered to the ad production company, CPA banned any government or privately owned TV channel from airing the ad starting Tuesday.
Worrying about the effect such ad might leave with children, the decision was taken. “We received many comments from people telling us that they do not accept such an ad being shown to children,” El-Deeb continued. “It doesn’t even fall in line with media code of ethics.”
“I believe the campaign makers wanted an odd ad to stand out among the many others, but they failed at doing so,” said Mai Nassef, Brand Manager at a multinational food and beverage company. “They wanted something crazy and unique but ended with a different yet a disappointing ad.”
On the other hand, Farah Attia, a brand manager, believes that the ad is not far away from the reality of the target audience.
Marketing wise, the ad targets the lower class, in which parents hitting children is a normal scene to be found. So watching such a scene is not weird or unacceptable for them, because they do the same. But for those who were raised otherwise, the ad would be irritating as they don’t accept the idea of hitting or being hit by others, according to Attia.
Points of views regarding the ad went viral. “I found the ad very funny,” said 25-year-old Sara. “And I didn’t think about the ethics or the message it might send to children.”
On the other hand, 34-year-old Abdel-Azim thought the ad is the furthest thing from being funny. Yet, he doesn’t agree that such an ad might promote domestic violence or teach his children negative ethics. “They are smart enough to know the difference,” he said.
Moreover, 23-year-old Rana believes that many advertisement campaigns should be banned, as they are all reflect bad images of parents and doctors.
The Fox advertisement campaign contains another ad that some found irritating, which shows a doctor in the operations room with a critical stage patient waiting to be operated on while he’s standing eating chips saying that eating Fox would save the patient, until he dies. Yet, no decision was taken in regards to that ad.