Photo courtesy of UBER official Facebook page.
CAIRO – 25 March 2017: Egypt’s Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) ordered UBER to remove an ad campaign it felt “violates the public’s feelings,” Youm7 reported Saturday.
The CPA ordered the company to remove all banners and social media ads including phrase, “Finally, I escaped from driving my mother-in-law 64 times!” CPA Chairperson Atef Yacoub clarified in a statement that the phrase was “rejected and contradicts with the Egyptian society’s habits.”
GCI Company, UBER’s agent in Egypt, acknowledged on
that the ad stirred controversy on social media.
User Mohamed Saeid wrote on his Twitter account, “Imagine! When somebody was asked to think up an idea for an ad for UBER, that was his idea; unfortunately, he was paid for it.”
The controversy started last week when the ad campaign went up on billboards across Cairo. Likely intended as a tongue-in-cheek quip targeting the younger generation, the backlash against the campaign reflected the reverence public opinion holds for mothers-in-law and family in general.
Despite the anger over some of the UBER campaign’s slogans, there was no call to boycotting the company, which serves millions of customers in Egypt, and there has been no indication that UBER revenues were affected by the controversy.
The popular ride-sharing app began operating in Egypt in 2014.
Although the ad was widely rejected, Egyptian pop culture has been known to portray mothers-in-law as authoritarian women who interfere in their children’s lives. In 1954, classic comedy The Pretty Mothers-in-law depicted two mothers-in-law who caused many problems to their newly married children. 1985 movie The Apartment Belongs To The Wife also depicted the mother-in-law as a monster who caused her daughter’s life ended in divorce.
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