On Tuesday November 10, 2015 as I hurriedly made my way to my work place in Abuja, Nigeria, I saw a most horrid billboard featuring Jay Jay Okocha and an unfamiliar woman. In the advert, which was commissioned for New Age Mobile Concepts Limited, the manufacturers of New Age Chargers, it clearly showed the football star admiring the backside of a woman as shown below.

New Age Chargers Advert

Recall that in 2014, Jay Jay Okocha was unveiled as an Ambassador for New Age Chargers as reported by Bella Naija in this article. As one who believes that there is no justification for a product, individual and brand to objectify a woman, I was really disturbed by the advert. In a series of tweets as shown below, I quickly called for de-commissioning of the advert.

To drive the point home, I further impressed on Jay Jay Okocha who tweets as @IAmOkocha, to clear his name and dissociate himself from the despicable advert.

As if that was not enough, I called a representative of New Age Mobile Concepts Limited intimating them on the horrid nature of their advert and how they are inadvertently reducing the value of womanhood. I was assured that they would look into the situation.

Behind the scene, I contacted Joy Isi Bewaji, a renowned feminist to draw attention to this development and use her formidable influence to ensure that New Age Mobile Concepts Limited de-commissions the advert. She responded positively and put out this remarkable article here. In the post, she posited that in a ‘New Age’, women are more than body parts. Subsequently, I received a call from a young man who claimed to be a staff of a partner digital agency to TBWA Concept, the advertising agency that came up with the horrid advert on behalf of New Age Mobile Concepts Limited. We had a detailed conversation where I was able to communicate the dangers inherent in objectifying womanhood. He assured that their firm was currently looking into it with a view to embracing damage control measures.

You can imagine my shock when I woke up this morning to realise that New Age Mobile Concepts Limited had disregarded all well meaning calls to do the right thing and then decided to move their horrid advert to social media. They had gone ahead to use a cover photo of the despicable advert on their Facebook Page as shown below. (On closer perusal, I realised that they had also used same on Twitter as well)

New Age Chargers Facebook Cover

 

A report released by NOI Polls on the prevalence of child rape in Nigeria, revealed that the majority of Nigerians (67%) affirm there is a high prevalence of child rape in Nigeria and 31% know victims of child rape in their localities. You can read the report here. In another report by Clement Ejiofor, it revealed a scary but true statistics of the prevalence of rape in Nigeria. Chineze J. Onyejekwe in her detailed report on ‘Nigeria: The Dominance of Rape’ opined that rape is an impediment to economic development, a public health problem, and a violation of women’s fundamental human rights. Where am I going with this? In sexually objectifying a woman in their advert, TBWA Concept and New Age Mobile Concepts Limited clearly shows gross insensitivity and thereby put every Nigerian woman in harms way.

What is the way forward? Social Media can become a veritable tool in galvanizing citizens to lend their voice and insist that the right thing be done. The duo of TBWA Concept and New Age Mobile Concepts Limited must be made to apologize to every Nigerian woman and subsequently de-commission this reprehensible advert.

This is just the beginning!

If you would want to be part of the social media advocates that will embrace this cause to insist that the right thing be done, kindly fill the contact form shown below for further updates.

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