Consumer Protection Agency(CPA) banned “Orange” aired ad on Thursday accusing it with containing offensive scenes and sentences to elders, state media reported. This comes after the Minister of Social Solidarity, Ghada Wally, filed a complaint to stop airing the advertisement last week, and the owning company was given a few days to remove the offending lines from the ad. However, after doing so, the ad was reviewed by the technical committee, and they decided to ban the ad as the remaining parts still initiated the same message.
The campaign which was released before the Egypt and Uganda football match aims to show support to the national team in qualifying for the world cup. By following a group of elders who sing a rap song stating that this is their last chance before they die to follow the national team qualify to the world cup, the ad videotape them state that illness has taken over them and they no longer look for anything but for Egypt to participate at the world cup. With a group of them stating that they are going to die soon, the ad was found promoting despair and losing hope.
“This time or no other time, we either qualify or die. Infirmity is eating us alive and we’re watching from the intensive care” one line of the ad says. As the two-minute ad follows, it captures the illnesses taking over the elders who are seen in a hospital “Many of us have Alzheimer and can’t recall who is playing against who. Focus we won’t be living until the next time [the team qualifies]”.
The banning call came after the ad was detected dissenting from ad qualifications set by the CPA which include that the ad must commit to ethics, not include any insulting elements for people’s humanity or dignity. Something that was not applied in the ad which portrayed elders’ suffering in what’s supposed to be a funny way.
The ban also included the on-ground banners of the ad. The call gave the owning company 24 hours from the releasing date to remove all the billboards off the streets.
From the owner’s point of view, Orange issued a press release stating that the ad’s idea is to use a “hard core football fans who are getting older as the years are passing by without seeing Egypt making it to the World Cup so it’s either now or never”.
As for capturing the elders with severe illnesses that about to end their lives, the statement expressed that the “Humorous rap song is a creative execution that features old football fans who are getting old and are suffering from aging problems as well as stress and pressure from wasting chances to qualify to the World Cup for the last 28 years. They ask our national team to man up and make it this time as they don’t have the luxury of time to wait for another 4 years. It’s their literal last chance to see our national team in the World Cup”.
Only few days after the release of the ad, a wide range of heavy criticism fired the hashtag of the campaign. While some people found it funny and sarcastic, others accused it with harming their elder parents’ feelings.
“I find the ad extremely annoying and rude. Sickness, disability and infirmity are not something to make fun or laugh at” said Hesham Yehia, a Facebook user in a comment “what’s the difference between making fun of an elder, telling him you only have a short time before you die, and making fun of a bald man telling him you look like a cancer patient!”
“Imagine being an old man watching TV and find someone who tells you that you won’t live up to the next time we qualify for the world cup” another user tweeted.