On March 26, Nando’s, a restaurant chain that’s popular for its chicken offerings stirred up trouble with its latest print ad. The advertisement, published in a leading English daily, plays on the power of suggestion, urging readers to dispense with unnecessary things like cutlery and dig in to Nando’s meals with their hands.
“We don’t mind if you touch our buns, or breasts, or even our thighs. Whatever you’re into, enjoying any Nando’s meal with your hands is always recommended,” read the advertisement. The headline read: “Try something you can grab with both hands”.
Needless to say, the sexist ad content irked many, who thought the copy was in poor taste, vulgar and offensive towards women. Users on social media sites such as Facebook took to the public platform to raise an issue with the restaurant chain, with some even willing to lodge a complaint against the company with the National Commission for Women.
Others took to Twitter to express their disapproval.
— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) March 26, 2016
— Shveta Rajput (@shvetarajput) March 26, 2016
Though there are a few who had no issues with the advertisement, saying that even men have thighs, breasts and legs, or that it’s just a play on words that people need not get too worked up about. One Facebook user commented: “Yes, there are crimes against women and yes India is at a stage where the crowd is really angry because of these crimes, but does that mean we become so intolerant that we try and pick up battles where they don’t even exist? Nando’s has only used what is called shock advertising, it’s been in practice since a long time. I’m not fully aware if any laws have been broken, but we should be a little more open minded and realize there is no vulgar, offensive, or abusive to women content. It’s simply a company using an issue to create spontaneous attention in the mind of the reader.”
But Nando’s supporters very quite few in number, and following the slew of negative reactions to the print ad, the eatery issued a public apology on their Facebook page.
This is not the first time Nando’s has indulged in sexist word play to promote its brand. Previously, it invited a lot of criticism on a TVC for its Double Chicken Burger, which was subsequently banned.