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Citroën attracts controversial advertising in Egypt

According to women’s rights activist Reel Abdellatif, Citroën encouraged sexual harassment with advertising.

French carmaker Citroën pulled out of a controversial ad in Egypt after the company faced allegations of promoting sexual harassment of women.

The ad has been circulating on the country’s social networks since the beginning of December and shows the famous singer in the Arab world Amr Diab, sitting in a Citroën.

A short sequence shows how he uses a camera installed in the rearview mirror to take a picture of a woman crossing the street in front of him – without her knowledge or consent.

And the 60-year-old then smiles when the picture appears on his phone.

In the further course of the ad you can see how the two get to know and get closer to each other during a run together.

Taking pictures without consent is “scary”

On social media, Citroën met with harsh criticism. In Egypt, 90 percent of women between the ages of 18 and 39 report experiencing bullying. It is “scary” to photograph a woman without her consent, wrote women’s rights activist Reel Abdellatif on Twitter.

“They encourage sexual harassment,” she added, addressing the French carmaker.

Citroën finally said on Thursday that the company had been informed that a scene from the ad was “perceived as inappropriate”. The relevant version has been withdrawn. “We apologize to anyone who feels offended.” 

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