In today’s digital age, it’s only a matter of time before a scandal unfolds. The latest to break out? Amr Diab’s Citroen ad. Not long after Citroen Middle-East unveiled its latest ad, a thunderstorm of tweets flooded social media, with claims that the singer and French car giant are promoting harassment.
The two-minute clip, which was originally posted on December 3, was unearthed by some Twitter users this week who didn’t shy away from sharing their opinion. The ad sees the singer in the manufacturer’s latest C4 model taking an unsolicited picture of a woman crossing the road. Initially aimed at promoting the car’s new camera feature, the advertisement was unsurprisingly met with tons of backlash online claiming that the publicity stunt actively promotes harassment, the invasion of privacy, and overall disturbing behaviours.
A man taking a woman’s photo without her consent.
A whole team thought this was a good idea.Then referred it up and they thought it was a good idea.Then @amrdiab,the biggest star in the Mideast+his team also thought it was a good idea.Did @Citroen explain?pic.twitter.com/X6cPYt3Nsh
— shaimaa khalil BBC (@Shaimaakhalil) December 29, 2021
The advertisement comes after Citroen revealed that Amr Diab would be their newest brand ambassador and celebrated his appointment with the aforementioned video. Although quite flashy, the clip went viral as expected garnering some daunting numbers on YouTube as well as across the brand’s social media. With loads of positive feedback, things took a turn this week when Twitter users posted an 11-second extract of the ad and began criticising the brand’s publicity while slamming Amr Diab’s role in it all.
We can understand why. Beyond the advertisement being creepy, it is worth remembering that Egypt carries a long and unfortunate record of being one of the world’s most affected countries by sexual harassment. Back in 2013, a study led by UN Women claimed that 99.3 percent of Egyptian women had experienced some form of sexual harassment in their lifetime with 96.5 percent of those saying that it came in the form of touching. With such a number in mind, there’s no doubt that the stunt only added more salt to a wound that is far from its healing stage.
Taking it to their keyboards to express their disappointment and anger, here’s what some of the people had to say:
Apparently Citroen's message is: Creeps drive a Citroen.
— PKfA (@kf_p) December 29, 2021
Hi @Citroen this is sexual harassment. You know. The crime? https://t.co/33ZGqafdWB
— Rosaline Elbay (@RosalineElbay) December 28, 2021
Oh my god @Citroen what is this?? Thoughtless, entitled, creepy encouragement of harassment. Take it off air.
— Reluctantly Anon (@ReluctantAnonF) December 29, 2021
This is just creepy and taking pictures of anyone without consent should be a crime @Citroen, what was Amr Diab thinking? https://t.co/545m28Sn2K
— Shilpa (@shilpakannan) December 29, 2021