Netizens are all praise for actor Saurabh Verma, who turned down the infamous commercial by Layer’r SHOT, a men’s body spray brand whose recent ad stirred up a controversy for promoting rape culture.
Saurabh Verma reportedly rejected the ‘misogynistic ad’, as shared by his friend Abbas Mirza, a senior creative director of a digital marketing agency, in a LinkedIn post. “One of my actor friends said ‘NO’ to LAYER’R SHOT ad when he was approached for it,” he wrote.
Abbas noted his friend Saurabh revealed this fact during a casual conversation that he was approached for auditioning for a controversial deodorant ad.
After reading the script, the actor suggested some changes as he found it had ‘derogatory and demeaning content’. But since the makers of the ad denied his request to alter the script, Saurabh decided to politely turn down the offer.
Sharing a screenshot of the conversation between Saurabh and the casting agent, Abbas also pointed out that despite being in a competitive industry like advertising, he dared to propose a change in the script.
Earlier this month, two advertisements by Layer’r SHOT came under fire for their problematic and crude content that propagated sexual violence against women.
The ads were called out by a Twitter user @Monikamanchanda who wrote, “There have to be some regulations for ads man. That Shot deo ad is nothing short of disgusting actually. Even though I knew it was an ad and it wouldn’t happen. The fear for a second I felt was real. Imagine making an ad on the fears of millions of women! (Sic)”
After the tweet went viral, several celebrities and politicians took to social media to point out the sexist advertisements.
This ad is not an accident. To make an ad, a brand goes through several layers of decision making. Creatives, script, agency, client, casting… DOES EVERYONE THINK RAPE IS A JOKE? Revelatory! This brand, the agency that made this ad need to be sued for the filth they’re serving. https://t.co/M3YjbljAYN
— RichaChadha (@RichaChadha) June 4, 2022
Fuming at cringe worthy ads of the perfume ‘Shot’. They show toxic masculinity in its worst form and clearly promote gang rape culture!The company owners must be held accountable. Have issued notice to Delhi Police and written letter to I&B Minister seeking FIR and strong action. pic.twitter.com/k8n06TB1mQ
— Swati Maliwal (@SwatiJaiHind) June 4, 2022
Following heavy criticism, the ad was later taken down from all social media platforms like Twitter and YouTube after an order from the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. Responding to the controversy the brand also issued a clarification claiming that it never intended to ‘hurt anyone’s sentiments or feelings or outrage any women’s modesty or promote any sort of culture’. The brand also apologised for its advertisements and asked other media partners to stop the telecast with immediate effect.
Abbas concluded by praising his friend for his bold decision. “I am proud of you, Saurabh Verma. Hope your tribe grows,” he wrote and also shared his work for popular brands like Hyundai and YES bank.
Many commented on the post applauding Saurabh’s courage and thanking Abbas for sharing the story.
“Much relieved to see this. Being a mother of a girl child, I died many slow deaths inside when the ad was broadcasted. I have refrained from making any public comments dissing the ad simply because I felt negativity spreads too fast and more people will see the ad out of curiosity. I am relieved there is consciousness alive in the society,” a LinkedIn user commented.
Read the full viral LinkedIn post here:
Twitter thread by @monikamanchanda.
Man Shares Story Of Actor-Friend Who Refused Layer’r Shot Ad Saying It ‘Demeans’ Women published by India Times on 21 June, 2022.
“Promoting Rape Culture”: Ads Of Body Spray Layer’r Shot Criticised On Twitter published by NDTV on 3 June, 2022.
(Edited by Yoshita Rao)