Unethical Act from Shaadi.com – Are they taking the profile of users on their portal for granted?

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:-

  1. It seems an adult dating site
  2. It may be a porn site
  3. It clearly indicates about sexually explicated content by any mean
  4. It may be an anonymous campaign
  5. 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:

  1. How relevant Ad is
  2. Is it dictating our marriage culture in right manner as we know facebook is an international portal
  3. How ethical is to use semi nude girl for matrimony Ad where people look for life partners
  4. 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:

  1. This is a potential harm to Ad trustworthiness
  2. This is misleading the meaning of marriage
  3. This is unethical to show sexually explicated Ad with no relation to service/product
  4. 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…


9 thoughts on “Unethical Act from Shaadi.com – Are they taking the profile of users on their portal for granted?

  1. – Ads almost always portray women as sex objects, in order to increase the appeal of their product
    – Targeting young adolescent girls as they develop sense of self and identity then
    – Women to believe that their self-worth is dependent upon attention from men
    – All this leading to a false truth that women is useless without beauty

    Here in this SHADI.com ad would like to pin point few things
    where I am bound to think – how worthless a woman’s identity, the questions that run in my mind is
    – Are women a sex object for men?
    – Does a woman see themselves beautiful this way?
    – Are parents encouraging their daughters to portray this way to invite men…OR
    – Are the internet marketing guys’ hunger to increase their clicks promote such ads
    – OR even the girls/women themselves are ready to sell themselves for fun, money or any liabilities?

    What I feel, women should also SAY NO to enact or perform such advertisements for any cause. There are protection LAW in country, each women should be aware of their rights and fight for it.

    In India women is protected with THE INDECENT REPRESENTATION OF WOMEN (PROHIBITION) ACT, 1986 (NO. 60 OF 1986). But this will not perform without woman’s consent. In this case its done with mutual understanding and not ignorance, so will plead the YOUNG generation, not to crave for fame & money but have some moral ethics within them to fight against promotion of such events!!!!

  2. Amazing observation!

    Three cheers for building up a case against un-ethical advertising on web. Sometime traditional advertisers take internet as “Kaun dekhega yaar” approach, which is absolutely wrong. This is a medium which should be carefully used, the wrong doing spread like wildfire. I will be tweeting about this article to bring this to the notice of my network to raise a voice against this kind of irresponsible act of the advertisers.


  3. I completely agree with Shruti. Facebook allows minimum age as 13, i am sure lot of younger kids also use Facebook especially popular games like Farmville. The brand Shaadi.com which is known to have a traditional and respectful Indian image, has put its name to shame. I am amazed that this ad managed to surpass all pre-requisites of the portal. The marriage portal should immediately pause this campaign and publicly apologize to all concerned parties

  4. I don’t find anything wrong about Shaadi.com in this act as this is not the host domain which has advertised the defaming pic. It’s the facebook who is defaming the beauty of the India women by westernizing the ads. Facebook team should apologize publicly for this act of irresponsible advertisement.

    Thanks Amit for bringing this to public notice.

  5. hmmmm….. Awake ! Indian Youth .. Its shameful for us. we are not giving pay attention . why? …we should spared the awareness of it. i will promote this blog in maximum social sites …. grt buddy

  6. Hi Amit…

    You asked (via a separate response from LinkedIn, I believe) that I visit this blog post, view the photographs and respond.

    I had replied to you that I agree with your assessment right up to the point where you suggest “this should be banned”. After reading your post and viewing the pictures I still hold that same view.

    The ad is in poor taste in my view – and you (and others) should certainly feel free to object, protest, boycott, lobby against, rally opposition and otherwise complain as you feel is warranted. But banning speech is never an appropriate tactic. You want speech YOU find offensive to be banned. But I’m uncomfortable with you being the arbiter of what is offensive for the masses. Just the same – I would hope that you would object to me requesting speech I feel is offensive to be banned.

    I am quite comfortable telling someone (or entity) they SHOULDN’T say ‘that’, but I am quite unwilling to tell them they CAN’T say ‘that’.

    Thanks for the candid conversation….

  7. Its a gross waste of money and time going into shaadi.com, there are real M..F…sitting there luring customers to pay. You register and show expression of interest, to a 1000 girls, I’ll consider you lucky if you get response from genuine 10 girls. And very lucky if you get an email from them, and very very lucky if they are real. Chances are 5% that you might strike up with some one genuine. and then you are serious to find a girl and to send a mail to them you get tempted to pay. Just try this out, go to the payment page and then close it, i’ll guarantee you that you’ll get a call in 24 hrs. Even after a call you hesitate to pay voila!! your in box is flooded with acceptance of beautiful girls. And LOL once you pay none of them respond…..most of them are fake profiles generated by the system. and once you send a complaint that no one is responding, thats it you had it bro…they will block all your messages to the girls.and thats one more reason why the girls fail to respond even after accepting you. they never get your messages. And try one more thing…register as a girl and see……….over night your inbox is flooded with proposals….!!whoz doing all this…programmers sitting behind the laptop. Trust me Chances that you may meet your guy or a girl in a supermarket is more bright. Dont waste your time on this stupid site.

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