Guy comes home after a hard day's work. Finds his wife in bed, probably nude under a blanket that covers her from neck to toe. Gets a curious look on his face. Suspects something’s going on. Starts looking around for the culprit. And there in the closet finds John Abraham. But the ever loving John has a good excuse for being in the closet. He was “searching for his bag” – Skybags! John gleefully explains the beauty of Skybags and those ‘caster wheels’. Says those are handy to ‘run’. And then demonstrates it by jumping out and running away, dragging his Skybag with him. Husband nods in admiration at his wife and says “it can really run”. Skybags saves the day and the wife escapes being caught at her adulterous affair by a dumb husband. Are you laughing? Well, you’re supposed to because the whole thing is intended to be humorous.
|Skybags - Adultery is Okay!|
That would have been okay for an Adults joke book. But what exactly is such an ad doing on news and other channels in the MSM? Weren’t these guys supposed to be the ‘moral watchdogs’? Be it porn or murders resulting out of affairs, our news channels don’t tire telling us how Indian values are being lost, how society is dumbing down by the day. They even get psychologists to analyse us. Ah well, I suppose given that much of our media is essentially a Page-3 club these affairs and adulterous conduct would be normal for them. Lately, very few days have passed when some channel or the other hasn’t discussed porngate and have had debates over whether porn should be legalised.
First, let’s get the Adultery part over with. Under Indian laws Adultery is punishable with a fine or five years in prison and can also be grounds for divorce. The woman is not considered guilty and is not punishable. In the Skybags ad, it implies the woman is clearly adulterous but we can’t be sure about John because we don’t know if the guy is married. But that is about the ad and I guess Skybags, which was launched around 1992-93, must be having a hard time with sales and needed a silly ad to get back into good business. But this is about our media. And greed is their creed! If it brings in the moolah, anything goes.
The editor of a news channel, as with print media, is responsible for all content that appears on it. Be it news, be it ads, campaigns and even the scrolls that run at the bottom of the screen. So if this ad appeared on TimesNow, NDTV, CNN-IBN then Arnab Goswami, Barkha Dutt and Rajdeep Sardesai respectively would be responsible. True for other channels as well. So the very people who lecture the nation on morals do not think twice before carrying an adulterous ad. Is the ad illegal? No, in my assessment it is not. But surely, these editors seem to have missed the double standards they practice. Who knows, next time there might be an ad where a man rapes a woman and then escapes by using Skybags, since it’s quick on wheels, or some such product and our editors won’t mind carrying it. Looks like morals end where money starts. More importantly, these very channels who scream day in and out about women’s dignity and rights do not mind carrying an ad where one is portrayed as cavalier bimbo.
There is this Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI). This is another toothless body, like the PCI, made up of media channels and advertisers and advertising agencies. Still, I am sure even the ASCI will not deny that the Skybags ad is in bad taste. So the next time our media sermonises on porn, just remember they are fine with and endorse affairs and adultery. In their Page 3 culture there’s nothing wrong with that.
Moral of the story? If you’re planning to have an affair or commit adultery, make sure you have a bag with wheels. It makes for a great ‘Getaway’ and our media supports your adventure. Have a good one ! Hahaha!