After facing outrage from feminist groups and celebrities over its new advertisements with people charging it with comments like 'promoting rape culture', the perfume company Layer’r Shot on Monday issued an apology and a clarification statement.
"This is with reference to our two most recent TV commercials of Layer’r SHOT on various broadcast platforms. We, the Layer’r SHOT brand, would like to inform one and all that we have been broadcast only after due and mandatory approvals we have aired the advertisements, wherein, we never intended to hurt anyone's sentiments or feelings or outrage any women's modesty or promote any sort of culture, a wrongly perceived by some," the statement posted on Twitter read.
Further apologizing for the aired content, the statement added, "We sincerely apologize for the advertisement that consequently caused rage amongst individuals and several communities and beg their pardon."
"Most importantly, we have voluntarily informed all our media partners to stop the telecast/broadcasting of both the TV advertisements from 4th June with immediate effect," the letter further read.
This comes just two days after the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has asked Twitter and YouTube to remove the controversial ad from their platform, as it was being perceived as problematic by many individuals.
The action by the government came after the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) found the ads in a "serious breach" of their code and against the public interest. The advertisement watchdog “suspended” the two new Layer Shot advertisements “pending investigation,” after their content was flagged by several social media users, saying it "promotes rape". “Disrespectful towards women” was how many on social media described the inappropriate ads.
One of the ads showed four men inside a store standing behind a woman and saying “we are four, but there is only one who will get a chance”. The shocked woman turned around to see that one of them took a single bottle of “Shot” perfume that was on the shelf.
Earlier, several Bollywood celebrities, like Priyanka Chopra, Hrithik Roshan, Farahan Akhtar and Richa Chadha, had criticized the ads, among other citizens and women activists groups.
On his Instagram Stories, Hrithik wrote, “How could the entire team associated with this project think this was OK to make and showcase? Kudos to the viewers for calling it out & the regulatory bodies for taking appropriate action.”