Last night I was surfing facebook and playing Farmville. As being internet marketing professional I usually look after every Ad Campaigns. But this time I was shocked as I have found an Ad dealing with our moral values, culture and Ad trustworthiness.
I’ll not mind if I see a nude girl picture on a adult site ad or a semi nude girl on Adult friendship websites. But what about a portal which claims for being inspired with Indian rituals and traditional. I am strictly against diverting the users mind. I have seen an Sexy-Adultery promotion for one of the Indian Wedding portal.
Advertising industry in India is accused of promoting materialism by inducing people to attach too much importance to the material aspects of life. It creates the notion that acquisition of things will gratify basic and inner needs and aspirations. The advertisers while advertising often attempt to direct the attention of the reader or viewer to the product or service by using women as sex objects. Cosmetics including soap and shampoo, fabrics, cold drinks and certain other goods are advertised by voluptuous semi-nude girls. It is common to see a girl cuddling up suggestively to a man who either smokes a particular brand of cigar or is dressed in a suit of particular company.
Even products targeted to man and not exclusively mean for woman are advertised with the use of semi-nude or skimpily dressed young women. The use of woman in various advertisements neither has any relation to promote the products nor it helps conveying the required message. These sorts of sexual innuendos are often used to titillate the audience and ultimately trying to draw their attention to the products advertised. In certain advertisements, now there is a shift in the use of the female body to that of male body language. These, of course by a new breed of advertisement makers, who seems have come up with something new for the Indian audience. In most prime time commercial advertisements the women are always portrayed as maids, house wives, secretaries, mothers, nurses, etc. whereas their male counterparts are depicted in the moulds of doctors, engineers, administrators, businessmen, politicians, sportsmen and in all white collar jobs. This definitely is not a reflection of the present society, where in every field say, business, administrative jobs, politics, women do excel if not more yet in par with the males.
In above scenario is just about print media, television and other local mediums. But what about an International portal which has mass of multi billion users and very wide in prospective. I am talking about Facebook. What to say if any advertiser is using a female body to catch eyeball for a product/service which is entirely different.
Now see the image below:
So After looking at the Ad in marked area what you can say? I mean to ask that can you guess what this particular Ad is talking about? Below I am giving the thought that I had in my mind after looking this Ad. Look at the picture with sharp eyes. This girl is with erotic posture and a laptop in front of her seems like available for live chat and a hostel or guest house kind of room. So did any analysis came…. Here are mine:-
- It seems an adult dating site
- It may be a porn site
- It clearly indicates about sexually explicated content by any mean
- It may be an anonymous campaign
- It may belong to a escort service as per messaging
Now I am am giving you the lading page of the above Ad. Believe me you will be shocked. Because this is the portal which might you are using or being used by one of your friends, sister, daughter, brother e.t.c. This is Indian giant matrimony portal Shaadi.com. Have a look on the landing page
Now match the girl photograph on this page and above Ad. I have following points for this:
- How relevant Ad is
- Is it dictating our marriage culture in right manner as we know facebook is an international portal
- How ethical is to use semi nude girl for matrimony Ad where people look for life partners
- Do you still want to use these portals
So Now I want to ask one question from these portal advertiser: “Are they authorized to promote matrimonial profile in this mean and by using erotic and sexually explicated content?”
Other things I need to ask from user of this portal: “Would you prefer a life partner which comes to you via clicking on the ad like above?” and “What you do after looking at these ad?”
Last question is from community: “What we need to do after looking at these acts?”
I know about me. I will not be quite as:
- This is a potential harm to Ad trustworthiness
- This is misleading the meaning of marriage
- This is unethical to show sexually explicated Ad with no relation to service/product
- This should be banned
So, Now its your turn to spread this and let these advertisers know that they should beware of unethical practices. I want the Shaadi.com owner to come in public and regret for this mistake. As well I am asking facebook too to develop a mechanism to keep their portal reputation safe. However I would be frighten to use these portals.
I’ll look forward for your response…