This is an update to my earlier post on “The objectification of women by Jay Jay Okocha and New Age Chargers.” published on November 24, 2015.

New Age Chargers Advert - Copy

As soon as the post was published, I contacted the team at TBWA Concept, the advertising agency that came up with the horrid advert on behalf of New Age Mobile Concepts Limited, the manufacturers of New Age Chargers. I sent them a link to the article and encouraged them to do the right thing.

Find excerpts below:

Good morning Team TBWA.
Kindly read this and do the needful. Thank you very much.

Social Issues: The objectification of women by Jay Jay Okocha and New Age Chargers:

Read: http://blossomozurumba.com/new-age-chargers

They consequently sent me an email as shown below:

Hi there Blossom,

Thanks a lot for you for your note.

We have read through your article and the concerns raised therein.

First, let me apologise if you have been offended in any way by this part of our campaign. That clearly was never the intention and it does seem that you have taken the ad out of context.

The premise of this entire campaign is that with a dead phone battery you can’t capture funny/embarrassing scenarios which may include, seeing a celebrity on an “okada” rushing off to airport for example, or a celebrity in unusual costume and in this case of the ad that you have highlighted, a celebrity admiring an attractive woman.

If our ambassador was female the concepts would have been exactly the same, as a simple representation of these funny/embarrassing situations. To be clear, this ad is one in a series and will be refreshed according to schedule with other extensions of the campaign

Being in the businesses of communication, we fully understand that ads may sometimes be interpreted differently by different demographics, and I’m sure that you can see that from the various responses to your posts.

However, our intent remains to ensure that the overall campaign message is what the consumer focuses on, and for the New Age Charger brand, that message is that with a dead phone battery you miss out on embarrassing /funny situations.

On a personal note though, its important that we all take our responsibility on social and other media very seriously so as not to inadvertently malign brands and people’s characters.

Do have a great day.

Best Regards,

Osibo Imhoitsike
Business Director

I replied as shown:

Thanks for your well articulated response.

Having gone through the content of your mail, I wish to inform you that the justification given for the implementation of the said Ad is quite lacking in both context and presentation.

I am particularly perturbed on the outright refusal to embrace the recommended option(s) which is to simply apologize to every Nigerian woman and subsequently de-commission this reprehensible advert.

As you have clearly communicated that your firm is unwilling to do as suggested, I have no other option than to carry on with the proposed social media campaign to ensure that the recommendations are met.

I will keep you updated.

Sincere regards.

N/B: You last paragraph comes across as a veiled attempt at possible litigation charges. Be assured that I have sent a copy of this mail thread to my lawyer should that be your proposed cause of action.

The final response on the mail conversation:

Thanks Blossom.

We appreciate and understand your views.

Best Regards,

Osibo

What has the mail correspondence above got to do with anything?

The silence by TBWA Concept, on social media was finally broken when they felt that the private conversation held in an email thread was about to be made public. They are rather focused on communicating that they have no intentions of slamming a litigation charge on me than doing the needful. Simply apologize to Nigerian women and de-commission the Ad. In a series of tweets, they went further to reiterate their existing position that the Ad is not offensive. Rather it is the understanding of thousands of Nigerian that finds it offensive, that is flawed.

A customer is always king and a respectable brand like TBWA should be very sensitive lest they communicate that they don’t care about the feedback they receive.

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.

If you wish to give me a feedback of any form, click here.

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