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Reebok’s Russian Advert Creates A Huge Controversy

Reebok’s Russian Advert Creates A Huge Controversy
A line in an advertisement by sportswear company Reebok in Russia has created a huge controversy. The line when translated reads thus: “Sit not on the needle of men’s approval – sit on men’s face.”
This line was posted in the Instagram account of the company but was later deleted a few hours later as a controversy started to brew. A large number of social media users were outrage at the advertisement alleging it was a sheer bad taste on part of the company and some even said that the advertisement was “threatening".
The controversy and adverse comments on social media resulted in the company quickly removing the remark form the advertisement because restoring back the modified version on social media.
"Unfortunately, after the publication of some pictures, it became clear that part of the content could not be published on behalf of the brand due to the age policy of the social network," Reebok Russia said on its Instagram page.
Despite this however, the marketing director of Reebok, Alexander Golofast, who was responsible for the advert was forced to resign because of the scandal. The manner in which the company had backtracked on the campaign was disappointing, Golofast later told the media.
"The company showed disrespect for itself: it signed up to this, approved all the quotes, was even delighted with how bold and interesting and in line with the global strategy to do something bright and unusual," he said.
Golofast justified the ad saying: "In this slogan, there are two parts: approval and pleasure. The first part calls for being yourself, and the second part calls for people to give each other pleasure. This is the most positive quote that is the best to reflect the image of a modern woman, who not only spits on stereotypes but also a woman who goes into the world with a positive agenda. He added that the campaign was "a huge success.... I think nobody ever spoke that much of Reebok in Russia, in the world it hasn't happened since the 90s".
Recently, a worldwide advertisement campaign highlighting women empowerment was launched by Reebok and used the hashtag #BeMoreHuman. The campaign was endorsed by celebrities such as actress Gal Gadot or model Gigi Hadid who promoted other women to be stronger and more assertive.
Feminist Zalina Marshenkulova was among those who shared her own version of the English slogan "never apologise for being strong", resulting in the 'face-sitting' comment. Marshenkulova took to Facebook: "God, save Russia from me and from cunnilingus,” she said mockingly, following the online outcry. She thought Reebok was joking and would never accept the wording of her slogan before the scandal.
"And here we are launching an advertisement, where one of the slogans (no kidding) is my famous 'Stop sitting on the needle of male approval, start sitting on men's faces'!
"Because it's time to stop worrying about what others think of you, stop being afraid of being NOT THE GOOD KIND of woman, stop adjusting your life and your looks to what your partner or neighbour said," she exulted

Christopher J. Mitchell

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