Distasteful Indian Ad Forces Malala To Relive Her Nightmare

by
Sameera Ehteram
As if being shot in the head at the tender age of 14 wasn’t bad enough, Nobel Peace Prize nominee and child education activist Malala Yousafzai may be forced to relive her horrifying experience thanks to this distasteful Indian ad.

An advertising agency has caused outrage for creating a poster campaign for a mattress showing a cartoon of Pakistani Taliban attack survivor being shot in the face, falling on the mattress, and bouncing back.

Indian bedding company Kurl-On commissioned the ad from a multinational design agency and this is what it came up with - complete with Malala being shot in the head, blood dripping from her wound and whatnot.

Who knows what the creators were thinking, but Ogilvy, the advertising company behind the ad, probably left their thinking hats at home or perhaps someone stole and replaced them with dunce caps. Nobody in their right minds could have come up such an idea and found a likeminded superior to have it approved, produced and published.

They were working with the slogan Bounce Back, and if this is the best they could come up with, it rightfully bounced back and hit them in their faces.

The campaign has also used other public figures like Gandhi and Steve jobs, but thankfully none of them were portrayed in such insensitive scenarios.

Whereas Ogilvy have not been responding to the outrage, the head of strategic planning of the designing firm commissioned by them says, “The scene portrays a real event, an example of heroism that is very powerful, especially in Eastern countries, which is what they told us they wanted when we started the graphic.”

“It's about triumphing over violence,” he added.

Is that so? How silly of people to get so worked up about it.

Malala Yousafzai, a child activist for education and women's rights in Pakistan, became a global figure when she was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen in 2012. She was only 14 at the time. Malala was rushed to a military hospital and then airlifted to the UK for treatment.

She not only survived, but within a year, went back to school and continued her work, spreading awareness about education, human rights and the effects of drone strikes.

Above all, she is a brave and determined girl. In an interview after her ordeal, she said, “I'm not afraid of the Taliban. ... If you kill someone, it shows that you are afraid of that person. So, why shall I be afraid of someone who is afraid of me already?"

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