Brands often tread a very fine line when it comes to advertising. Many brands have messed up before, and Bata’s new “womanizer” advertisement seemed to have placed the brand on that list.
The following image started making the rounds on social media.
Ever since then, the image has been circulated extensively, and Pakistanis are extremely upset over what’s depicted in the ad.
People took to social media, apparently using sarcasm to ridicule the ad.
Others blatantly called the ad a mess.
Some ridiculed the process that was put into approving the ad.
While some couldn’t help but wonder how such an obvious blunder went unnoticed.
The Twitterverse was also set ablaze with various conversations taking place around Bata’s new ad. It evoked a strong response from various people.
Some wondered if Bata fully understood what ‘womanizer’ meant.
Do people at Bata not know what ‘womaniser’ means pic.twitter.com/7DS1BOC2wv
— omar r quraishi (@omar_quraishi) November 18, 2017
Others rightfully pointed out how such ads help develop and propagate a misogynistic mindset.
This is not cool Bata Pakistan. It is campaigns like this that promote disrespect of women and condone misogyny. This is not ok at all. pic.twitter.com/8BUOgNH7vl
— Roshaneh Zafar (@RoshanehZafar) November 18, 2017
Some had a more violent outlook on things.
— Saman Siddiqui (@Ssiddiquisaman) November 18, 2017
People REALLY didn’t hold back.
Good job Bata and their Creative Agency. Faut ho jaen please! pic.twitter.com/w7DuyFEwek
— شاعر جنوب (@syedatifali) November 18, 2017
This gentleman even pointed out things that went unnoticed.
Maybe they’d notice it if a woman was holding it. Who knows.
Completely understand the outrage at the Bata ad. But how come no one’s yet commented on the cognac?
— Hasan Zaidi (@hyzaidi) November 18, 2017
Even Meesha Shafi stepped in and was thoroughly confused.
— Meesha Shafi (@itsmeeshashafi) November 18, 2017
However, the following tweet summed up what all of us are wondering.
What was Bata thinking? pic.twitter.com/yDpFdEDwMo
— Huma (@HumaNdivine) November 18, 2017
Such a casual mention of a “womanizer” by such a huge brand adds to the disrespect women face in society in general. Moreover, it reflects upon our society’s double standards and internalized misogyny – where a brand can get a lot wrong on purpose, but faces minimal backlash, simply because a man is depicted in the ad.
Bata issued this apology in the face of all the criticism, apologizing for the advertisement.
The company blamed the “mistake” on the excuse that the poster was printed outside of Pakistan. Looks like Bata doesn’t realize that sexism is sexism anywhere in the world and it’s wrong whether in Pakistan or outside of it.
While there’s still the initial bewilderment over how the ad was approved in the first place, it’s great that it’s been taken down. And the awaam should be glad that they fought an element of misogyny together, the results of which are now in front of them.
Let us know what you think about this in the comments below.