Four Ramadan ads have been pulled from the airwaves for various supposed violations of the Consumer Protection Agency laws.
Advertisers have been preparing all year for the Egyptian equivalent of Super Bowl ads...Ramadan! The entire holy month is considered the best time to reach the highest number of viewers. Advertisers will spend a big chunk of change to get that prized 60-second commercial slot during the best mosalsalat. Actors, camera men, entire production teams dedicated their time to making what they thought would be the sort of ads that would get the country buzzing about how hilarious they were. Unfortunately, many viewers disagreed and sent complaints to the Egyptian Consumer Protection Agency (CPA).
Not all of the advertisers are trying to give us a religious or sentimental ad; instead many actually stirred up controversy. The ads most complained about, according to the CPA, belonged to Juhayna, Dice, Cottonil, and Birell. According to the official statement made by the CPA the complaints stated that the ads "Did not match with Egyptian culture and were full of 'sexual innuendos'." They went on to say, “(The commercials) violated personal dignity; disrespected public taste, Egyptian customs and community traditions; breached public morals; and used children in violation of advertising standards." The exact CPA law cited by Chairman Atef Yacoub is the Consumer Protection Law No. 67 of 2006 which allows the CPA to ban "a TV advertisement for a telecommunication company shown in a number of satellite channels."
Juhayna Dondo Ad
Some viewers were left with the taste of sour milk in their mouths after watching one of this year's Juhayna ads. We thought it was safe to laugh at the cute talking baby ad, à la E*Trade, but then the over-voice at the end was sexual and some thought it was indoctrinating children to be sexist.
CPA stated that this ad has "sexual connotations, used children in violation of advertising standards, and misled consumers by implying that the company’s milk is better than breast milk."
Birell Bathroom Ad
I have minimal experience at urinals, being a woman and all, but I'm pretty sure this is bad bathroom etiquette. The Birell ad shows a young man peaking into the urinal stall of another man at a bathroom, where one assumes a sense of privacy. Mmm, yeah that's... a memorable ad, but as the CPA stated one "which breaches public morals."
Butts, we all have them. That's what we think this ad was trying to get at, but again there is a moment of "sexual innuendos" as women doing yoga prompts the over-voice to seize his narration and say "Ooooh" in a creepy-exuberant manner. Additionally, the CPA has accused the ad "of promoting a violation of law as it depicts a family of four riding a motorcycle without helmets."
This ad starts as a therapy session but it goes further than a Freudian slip, based on the CPA statement. The commercial has a moment where a woman is shown in nothing but her underwear. Although we all wear it, the ad goes a bit further by "including several sexual insinuations that are promoting (or encouraging) immorality and justifying marital infidelity," said the CPA.
We're not surprised that the CPA banned some Ramadan ads. After an ad last year was banned for inciting violence, we think that the CPA will continue keeping a close eye of all the commercials released during this year's holy month.