A car company that came under fire last week for posting billboard ads that were deemed insulting and offensive to women said the ads were replaced over the weekend, according to a representative of the company.
Women activists and social media users on Thursday expressed their shock and dismay over the advertisement, which appeared on billboards in the capital’s streets displaying what they claimed were “messages with a double meaning”, which they asserted were demeaning and insulting to women.
The ad, with a red rose in the background, began circulating on social media platforms on Wednesday evening. Messages displayed on the ad appeared to be addressed to men, saying: “If you do not like her, then change her”, “Do you feel there is one more beautiful than her? Then change her” and “Is it costing you a lot of money? Then change her”.
Several activists considered the ad to carry a double meaning, that was “gravely insulting” to women, as it suggested that they are commodities that can be changed if their husbands do not like them or find a woman who is more beautiful.
Women groups called for the ad to be “immediately removed from the streets”.
“We reject the private sector’s attempts to depict women as a commodity that should be exchanged or traded in return for profit,” Solidarity is Global Institute Executive President Asma Khader said last week.
Meanwhile, Jordanian National Commission for Women (JNCW) Secretary General Salma Nims also criticised the ad, saying that it is “not only humiliating to women, but also to men and the marriage relationship between them by showing that men can change their wives whenever they are bored with them”.
On Saturday, the car company’s representative told The Jordan Times: “We did not mean to offend or insult women and our ad was simply a teaser that would eventually lead to people concluding it was a car.”
The representative added that the intention was not “to antagonise people, but rather state the reasons why motorists should change their vehicles”.
“Some people considered it an insult to women, while others on social media guessed that the ad teaser was about a car,” the company representative added.
To avoid negative public reactions, the car company representative maintained, “we decided to remove the ad from the streets and continue with our ad plan”.
Several street billboards on Saturday used the same background, but with a new message that stated: “It is a car”.