Photo Via Vodafone Egypt Youtube/ featuring the popular puppet Abla Fahita Photo Via Vodafone Egypt Youtube/ featuring the popular puppet Abla Fahita

The most controversial TV ads banned from the screen

Fri, Jan. 5, 2018
CAIRO – 5 January 2018: Maybe you are the kind of person who consistently turns a deaf ear to advertisements that constantly interrupt your TV time. Still, you might occasionally catch yourself quoting lines from some of the most popular TV ads.

The decision to censor the advertisement by Vodafone, which features the popular puppet of Abla Fahita, for being “inappropriate”, got us to take a look back at the most popular, yet controversial, advertisements that quickly disappeared from our screens after becoming the talk of the town.

From the most recent to the oldest, we compiled a list of top TV adverts whose content was deemed too controversial and were consequently banned.

Vodafone’s Abla Fahita campaign

Vodafone’s latest commercial campaign, featuring popular puppet star Abla Fahita, triggered the decision by the Supreme Council of Media to stop airing the advert due to inappropriate phrases, violating the public taste, according to the statement of the council.

Abla Fahita is a popular puppet that appeared back in 2011 and presents a show named “El-Duplex” on the satellite TV channel CBC. There have been multiple complaints since the show first aired about repetitive use of foul language by Abla Fahita.



Ramadan 2017 fund-raising advertisement

Once it made it to the airwaves during the holy month of Ramadan, when viewing figures are usually the highest, Beet al-Zakat charity’s donations-seeking TV commercial immediately caused public anger. Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tyyeb called on the concerned authorities to drop it from TV screens for humiliating the poor.

The commercial intended to portray the difficult circumstances by poor families in the Beni Suif Governorate. It featured the infamous actress Dalal Abdel Aziz visiting a poor family at their fragile house, who was accompanied by a woman called Afaf, who showed the pools of filthy water that they use on a daily basis, as it is their only source of water.



Dairy products and beverages company Juhaiyna’s “Dondo” commercial

The Egyptian Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) banned the commercial advertisement campaign of the popular beverage and dairy product company of Juhanieya that contained “sexual innuendos” and “propagated misleading false information that breast milk can be replaced by the company’s dairy products and can make the less-than-six-months babies grow healthier.”



Barely-based beverages company Birell’s bathroom commercial

The advert featured two men urinating in a public bathroom in an inappropriate manner, according to the CPA, they immediately suspended the commercial from airing on TV.



Underwear brand Dice commercial

If showing a semi-naked woman in an advert was not enough to ensure that it would be banned, the advert also used phrases promoting and normalizing infidelity. Ironically, the campaign was launched during Ramadan 2016.

Underwear brand Cottonil commercial

Dice’s competitor underwear Cottonil’s Ramadan 2016 commercial was also subject to a crackdown by the CPA over the usage of sexually suggestive phrases and its portrayal of a family riding a motorcycle without wearing helmets, which goes against traffic laws.



Etisalat’s commercial campaign that encouraged domestic violence

The CPA said in a statement that it has banned the broadcasting of 2014 Etisalat advertising campaign because “it promoted domestic violence and illegal parenting attitudes and violated the dignity of humans.”

The advert portrayed a father who slaps with full force his son who requested his father’s SIM card to take advantage of the company’s offer that allows customers to replace old SIM cards with new ones for free.



Underwear brand Cottonil advertisement that featured actor Hany Ramzy

“The advertising campaign contradicts with the society’s longstanding traditions and values ,” the CPA said in a statement concerning its ban of Etisilat company’s 2014 advert that featured actor Hany Ramzy dancing while showing off his boxers.


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