Striking the Wrong Note: Melody TV’s Sexist Ads

Egyptian satellite TV station Melody has struck the wrong chord with audiences. The station, based out of Cairo, is famous for its MTV-like youth appeal. The network of five channels (including an English-only channel) broadcasts a variety of pop culture, youth culture, and music videos.

Their ongoing promotional campaigns, however successful, are leaving a bad taste in the mouth of some Egyptians, who find the commercials’ irreverent humor and sexual infatuation to be too risqué for the stations’ largely tween and teen audiences.

The latest promotional campaign, titled “Al Hakika el Mora” (or “The Bitter Truth”), follows suit in the station’s track record of sexual innuendo, scantly clad women, busty brunettes, and sexist punch lines. The video is in four parts here (in Arabic):

The synopsis: Mr. Gamal, Melody’s head honcho asks Hamzawi, a Don-Juan-type commercial director, to make “clean”, new commercials for Melody Drama. He must also find a new Melody girl because the old one is causing Mr. Gamal “a lot of problems in the newspapers”—apparently due to her “loose” mannerisms and overtly sexual appearance. Hamzawi goes to task, picking a new Melody girl and the new commercial is shown.

After watching the commercial in its entirety, it should be no wonder why the Egyptian general public is up in arms about Melody’s sexy promotional tactics.

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