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PEMRA Bans Coca Cola Ad For ‘Extremist’ Messaging

Coca Cola lands in hot waters.

Coca Cola's Extremist Pakistani TVC

Coca Cola lands in trouble over its ‘Extremist Pakistani’ ad campaign.

As #ExtremistPakistani trended on Twitter, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) slapped the multinational company with a ban on their ‘Extremist Pakistani’ TVC. The content of the ad implies that most Pakistanis are extremist.

This was the ad that Coca Cola approved for audiences in Pakistan:

PEMRA issued a notice to the MNC on July 30, 2019, after the regulatory body received numerous complaints regarding the ad in question.

Coca Cola Ad Pulled Off Air

Coca Cola’s TVC was immediately pulled off aired on the basis of offensive content.

Here is PEMRA’s circular regarding the ban on the ad.

“Whereas, it has been observed that Satellite TV channels, FM Radios and Distribution Service licensees are airing a TVC of Coca Cola. The content of the advertisement is not only offensive but also tantamount to demeaning the Pakistanis, as a nation.”

Pemra notice banning Coca Cola’s ‘Extremist Pakistani’ TVC

Based on PEMRA’s notice the ad has been banned from telecast under section 27 of PEMRA (Amendment) Act 2007.


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If the ad is to air again the content must be reviewed, and controversial content omitted from the TVC.

While the ad hasn’t been seen on screen since the ban, in case of non-compliance, legal action shall be initiated under Section 29, 30 and 33 of PEMRA (Amendment) Act 2007.

Public Backlash on Coca Cola’s ‘Extremist Pakistani‘ Ad Campaign

While PEMRA does take notice of offensive content on its own, Coca Cola’s ‘Extremist Pakistani‘ ad campaign was banned after public backlash. People filed complaints against Coca Cola’s TVC through Pakistan Citizen Portal and PEMRA’s Complaint Center.

“PEMRA is continuously receiving complaints and criticism from the general public through Pakistan Citizen Portal and PEMRA Complaints Call Centre on subject TVC. The public at large is criticizing theme of this advertisement which is promoting negative perception against Pakistan and Pakistani nation, world over.”

Singer Jawad Ahmed says the advert ‘shows how low can the marketing of a brand stoop to, just to make more money‘.

Other reactions were just as harsh

 


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The term ‘Extremist Pakistani‘ led to public anger, as well as mentions of ‘inteha pasand’ (extremist) in the ad itself.

Some sympathized but still didn’t agree with how Coke depicted its message.

One hopes that the people behind this TVC could have done their due diligence before approving it for public viewing. Because this ad by a big time MNC appears tone-deaf at best.

 

Written by Lens Staff

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  1. Good job #PEMRA.

    They should have been shut down, rather this is not enough, they should have been penalized for disgracing Pakistan and Pakistanis

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