Vodafone Egypt has decided to suspend all advertising campaigns on all media and channels, pending clarification with the concerned parties about the reasons for the suspension of the company’s recent ad featuring the puppet characterAbla Fahita.
On Thursday, the Supreme Council for Media Regulation decided to stop broadcasting the latest Vodafone ad with Abla Fahita, claiming it had some sexually suggestive gestures.
Vodafone Egypt confirmed in its official statement its full respect for Egyptian viewers and the taste and values of the community, as well as all the government agencies responsible for organising the work, media content, and advertising in Egypt, in line with public ethics.
The company said a meeting had been held with the Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) and that it agreed to amend the ad and present a new one.
However, the company was surprised by the decision of the Supreme Council for Media Regulation to stop the ad. The company was not informed of the decision officially and no hearing was held before the decision was taken, despite implementing the CPA’s request. Vodafone was hoping to discuss the matter before a final decision was taken.
According to Ahmed Sarhan, director of business development at 5D Agency, Vodafone’s decision to stop advertising campaigns is a natural reaction to the decision of the Supreme Council for Media Regulation until the advertisement is amended.
Sarhan said it was not the first time a Vodafone ad has been stopped, saying it has happened before and the ad was amended and subsequently resumed, which could happen in the coming weeks.
He further noted that if the company decided to stop advertising campaigns, it will be the biggest loser in the situation, because the current advertising campaign, which was stopped, was for a new product, not the brand, so consumers will not know about the new service and the company will lose out.
According to reports issued by PARC Research and Developments, the size of marketing campaigns in Egypt in 2015 reached $895m, while Vodafone’s Ramadan campaign cost EGP 150m.