Pakistani restaurant draws online criticism for using ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’ scene in ad
A restaurant in Pakistan has come under fire on social media for using a scene from the Bollywood film Gangubai Kathiawadi featuring Alia Bhatt to promote a male-only offer.
In the film, Alia Bhatt plays the role of a prostitute Gangubai who becomes an influential brothel owner. The advertisement used by the Karachi restaurant showed a scene from the film where Bhatt makes a move to attract his first customer. With this poster, the Swing restaurant announced Men’s Monday with a 25% discount for men.
“Aaja na Raja – What are you waiting for?” read the advertising slogan.
The ad showed Bhatt standing in the doorway and a large billboard promoting 25% off “Men’s Monday.” “Swings calling all Rajas out there,” the post’s caption read.
After being shared on social media, the advertisement soon began making the rounds on various internet platforms. Several users said the ad was in poor taste and demanded that it be removed.
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“You really need to look at what’s set up here. To use a painful scene to justify what you are offering is to reek of misogyny, ignorance,” one user wrote. “What cheap marketing,” added another.
A third user said, “If you think this is some kind of marketing ploy and it will get you attention and customers, unfortunately you are wrong! Using a clip from a film based on prostitution (which is based on someone’s real life) shows how low and shallow you can be just for publicity.
However, instead of deleting the post, Swing made a clarification. The restaurant defended the ad and said it was just a concept and not meant to hurt anyone. “The film and this post are based on a concept. As before, we are open to everyone and we will serve you with the same love that we have always had,” he said.
The restaurant shared a fake newspaper whose headline read: “Film kare tou aag, resto kare tou paap?Another newspaper headline also said, “Aray logon, itna dil pe kyun leliya?”
But despite the uproar on social media, the restaurant said it was open, and in one of their Instagram stories it also showed the restaurant was “full”.