Vulgar highway ad cut in half

hisap hisap ad original

( – By: Malati Siniah

Local beauty product distributor Dian Pixy drew the ire of locals when they released their latest out-of-home advertisement on major highways.

Their ad which carried a tongue-in-cheek copy, ‘Hisap-Hisap Terus Cantik’ ran across 47 billboards on the PLUS highway. The ad had been getting plenty of negative reviews with many local netizens sharing that the vulgar ad should be taken down.

In Dian Pixy’s official Facebook page the beauty brand shared that since the ad ran they have been getting plenty of backlash with some going as far as cutting three of their billboards in half. This resulted in millions of losses for the brand as they had to pay back the damages to the media owners. The brand had recently revised the creative of their ad and stated that they will be moving forward with their campaign which promoted their latest beauty vitamin pills.

MARKETING spoke to Jeff Cheah, President of the Outdoor Advertising Association of Malaysia (OAAM) to weigh in on the issue.

Did they go too far with this one?

First and foremost, the outdoor media industry has established proper procedures, guidelines and measures put in place to avoid exactly these kinds of unwarranted and potentially misleading ads. Had the media owner followed proper procedures, this would not have happened.

Were the correct procedures followed? One of the first procedures that need to be implemented is that the visuals need to get the necessary approvals from both the Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka as well as the local council. DBP would check on the language used and the local council on the visual’s appropriateness to local culture and norms. From the looks of it, it is clear these were not the case.

How could this have been avoided?

Advertisers should, in the future, seek clarification and advice from established media companies that have good working relationships with the authorities and understands all the nuances and complexities of the local outdoor advertising industry.

This issue also highlights the lack of ethics on the part of the media company. OAAM views this as a serious breach of trust and understanding prevalent within the Malaysian OOH industry.

We sincerely hope the said media company will consider complying with the acceptable industry norms within the foreseeable future.

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