Extremism is no joke. Pakistan has suffered for the larger part of its history because of extremists. It’s something every single Pakistani is aware of and it’s nothing new. But using it as a casual term in a soft drink advertisement is.
On July 28, after the Ad was released in a big social media and television campaign, singer and politician Jawad Ahmad tweeted: “The new #Coke Ad is an ugly interpretation of the word ‘Extremism’. It shows how low can marketing of a brand stoop to, just to make more money.
It is dumb & immature of marketing team of Coke to use such a highly socially sensitive word so non-seriously just to sell their bottles.”
Pakistan’s Electronic Media Regulatory Authority also found the advertisement to be problematic and has ordered that the Ad not be run on television or the radio until they review it. The Authority stated in their notice that they had gotten many complaints against the Ad and that, “the content of the advertisement is not only offensive but also tantamount to demeaning Pakistanis, as a nation.”
It’s not clear what clause PEMRA has used to ban the Ad. The Authority will make it clear when the Ad is reviewed and the controversial content is omitted (which might be difficult in this case). Until then, judge for yourself.
Watch the Ad here: