One of this year’s most applauded Ramadan television advertisements, Juhayana’s ‘El-Dondoo,’ has been banned in Egypt by the Consumer Protection Authority along with three others for disrespecting public morals, customs, and traditions and for using children.
The advertisements by Juhayna, Al-Ahram Beverages Company, Cottonil, and Dice were seen as breaching public morality and promoting harassment.
In statements to Aswat Masriya, the head of the Consumer Protection Authority said the Juhayna advertisement, which includes babies talking about missing the ‘Dondoo’ (a made up word for breast-feeding), was banned as it includes sexual overtones, uses children, and makes the false claim that the company’s milk is better than a mother’s milk.
The advertisement features one baby crying over ‘El-Dondoo,’ with another baby telling him that needs to quit ‘El-Dondoo’ and grow up. The advertisement ends with a voice-over that declares, “Juhayna milk is number one in Egypt, after El-Dondoo of course.”
It remains unclear whether Juhayana’s other advertisements, which also depict talking babies, were banned. Juhayna’s advertisements were praised on social media for being witty and innovative.
Meanwhile, the other three advertisements were banned for including sexually suggestive language, endangering the lives of children at risk, and for encouraging and justifying immorality.
The advertisement by Al-Ahram Beverages Company for Birell is the most criticized as it mocks more feminine men and tells viewers to ‘be more manly’. Birell has previously been accused of promoting sexism and sexual harassment in Egypt through its advertisements which are largely directed towards young men.
However, the advertisement of Cottonil is the most innocent. Yet, some viewers note that the ban could have been the result of one shot of women squatting at the gym.
The Consumer Protection Authority called on the violating companies to pull their advertisement or face criminal sanctions. The Authority also called for respect of moral values, particularly given the month of Ramadan.
Along with fasting, Ramadan in Egypt is famous for the advertisements by major companies and businesses. Companies often work throughout the year hoping to deliver the best Ramadan television advertisement.
Ramadan, which requires fasting between dawn and sunset, commenced last week for Muslims across the world and is expected to last until 6 July.