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Buy Me. Call Me. Take me Down.
Public complaints prompt authorities to take down ads on Sheikh Zayed Road. Which in turn prompts Kipp to ask: shouldn’t we all just lighten up?
April 24, 2012 4:08 by kippreport
Remember when a couple of Americans came to Dubai and preached –on advertising space- that the end of the world would come on May 21, 2011? Well, not only were they slightly off mark, they also rubbed people the wrong way. Days after billboards reading “the great and terrible day, who shall be able to stand?” went up, the municipality took them down after complaints were filed against the judgment day prediction. Fair enough – it’s best to avoid giving nonsense a platform to breed.
But when billboards simply reading “Buy Me”, “I’m Available”, “Call me now”, and “Talk to me” – without so much as a shadow of a human image on them- are taken down after the Dubai Municipality received complaints deeming them confusing and provocative, Kipp feels a little slighted. Isn’t it time to lighten up?
A mystery company is behind the English and Arabic billboards, which are selling, well, advertising space. Nothing more, nothing less. Kipp understands that taste and humour are subjective issues, especially in a multicultural society like the UAE – but, from every possible angle, we’ve failed to see how offensive these ads really can be.
Sure, they’re playful, straight to the point, and in their simplicity, a cut above the rest of the abysmal advertising that can be found on the streets, airwaves, magazines, newspapers, and television channels of the UAE. In terms of offensiveness, Kipp is exposed to much more openly provocative and mind numbing advertising on an hourly basis. Think the Grosvenor’s House Tower Two’s culturally insensitive radio campaign (Classy, Very Classy), or the myriad luxury perfume ads lining the streets of Dubai – no one feels that good holding a bottle of perfume.
So really, we’re baffled. We’d like to meet the people who were so offended by these ads that they took the time to complain about them. Please, step up!