Fashion

This Viral Nike Ad About Women in Sports Is Causing Outrage in the Arab World

“What Will They Say About You?”

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This Viral Nike Ad About Women in Sports Is Causing Outrage in the Arab World

“What Will They Say About You?”

An online ad recently released by Nike Middle East is sparking much controversy in the Arab World. The ad showed Arab women boxing, ice skating and engaging in other sports in an attempt to push towards diversity.

Within 48 hours the video was shared 75,000 times on Twitter and viewed almost 400,000 times on YouTube according to The Business of Fashion. The ad received praise in some corners and caused outrage in others.

A spokeswoman at the International Red Cross in Iraq responded on Twitter:

“An ad (which) touches on the insecurities of women in a society digs deeper and becomes an empowerment tool rather than just a product.”

Others were less welcoming. “I think this ad was an utter fail,” said Nada Sahimi on the company’s Instagram page.

“This is not the true representation of Arab, Muslim women. We do not wear a hijab and go running in the streets, shame on Nike.”

The ad is meant to mirror the real problems in the Middle East. At the current moment, physical education is prohibited in all-girl public schools and women’s gyms are still illegal.

Dubai advertising executive Nadim Ghassan had poignant message: “We need to start driving the conversation away from Arab women being subjects of segregation, or oppression … and more towards them being enablers, achievers and go-getters.”

What are your thoughts on the matter and the ensuing response?

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The Business Of Fashion
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