Pakistanis Boycott Proctor & Gamble Over Laundry Detergent Ad

Pakistanis Boycott Proctor & Gamble Over Laundry Detergent Ad
Image source: YouTube Video Screenshot

Proctor & Gamble is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of household cleaning products. It is a global company that has products on every continent. However, a report from Gulf News says that Pakistanis have chosen to boycott Proctor & Gamble because of a new laundry soap commercial.

Pakistanis Boycott Proctor & Gamble

The ad in question reportedly encourages women to break free from their traditional role in the Muslim culture. Ariel soap is a popular brand in that part of the world, but the commercial has caused a major stir against the company. It depicts women in career roles rather than the typical homemaker that Muslim women are believed to be. The roles include a doctor, a journalist, and the Pakistani women’s cricket team captain. The women are seen pushing dirty sheets off a clothesline, which seems harmless enough. However, each sheet is printed with phrases commonly used to depict a woman’s role in society. These sayings include the question “what will people say?” This is a question hurled at women who chose to challenge the normal gender roles. The ad has created such a stir as many leaders call for Pakistanis to boycott Proctor & Gamble.

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Outrage Hits Social Media

The final shot of the commercial, featuring Bismah Maroof, the captain of the women’s cricket team, caused more than a little outrage. Her line in the commercial was referring to all of the sheets with phrases that had been thrown off screen by the other women in the commercial. It said, “Stay within the house… these are not only sentences but stains.” Twitter became saturated with “#BoycottAriel” as people took offense to the commercial. Raja Moazzam wrote “please take action against these liberals, who (are) prompting liberalism in Pakistan.”  Others called for the government to officially censor the commercial and remove it from the airwaves. As the anger over the commercial grows more people are calling for Pakistanis to boycott Proctor & Gamble products.

Women’s Rights In Pakistan

Pakistan is a country steeped in traditional Muslim culture, where women are encouraged to remain at home and raise children. The idea of a woman pursuing a career apart from raising her family in this culture is at least discouraged, if not outright forbidden. Pakistani women have fought for decades to have equal rights with men. However, the country remains heavily affected by the traditions of the past. There have been cases of violence against women who challenge the normal roles, and choices like who they will marry are left up to the patriarch of the family. The ad challenges all of that, which is why traditionalists are calling for Pakistanis to boycott Proctor & Gamble. Whether or not the boycott will actually have the desired effect remains to be seen, but for now the commercial has aired and people have seen it. The fallout is still raining down.

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