Karachi Eatery under fire for trivializing traffic in marketing campaign

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Karachi: A popular restaurant in the city of Karachi in Pakistan has come under fire after using a scene from Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film Gangubai Kathiawadi to promote a special “men’s day”.

The restaurant, Swings, has faced anger on social media for using a painful scene from the film in which a sex worker, after being trafficked and left behind in Kamathipura, tries to get a customer.

The film is based on the true story of Gangubai, a sex worker famous for fighting for women’s rights.

Images and dialogue from the film were used by the restaurant in a message that read: “Aja na Raja – what are you waiting for? Swings calls all Rajas. Ajao and enjoy a 25% discount on Men’s Monday at Swings!

Content creator Daniyal Sheikh wrote in a Facebook post: “What is this? It is promoting the sexual abuse of women and literally making fun of women who are forced into prostitution. Try to be responsible.

“If you think this is some kind of marketing ploy and will get you attention and customers, you are sadly mistaken! The use of an excerpt from a film based on prostitution shows how low and shallow you can be just for publicity, another user wrote.

Another user wrote that he hadn’t expected such publicity from the restaurant and was “extremely disappointed” with the marketing gimmick.

In the face of massive criticism on social media and from its customers, the restaurant’s owners posted a note that only led to more criticism.

He first dubbed with a “Film kare tou aag, restaurant kare tou paap» quip, according to Indian Express. This translates to “If a movie does it, it’s explosive but if a restaurant does it, it’s a sin.”

The caption read: “Just a concept. We didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. The film and this article are based on a concept. As before, we are open to everyone and will serve you with the same love that we always have.

Many then called out Swings for a terrible marketing team and superficial statement.

However, the restaurant’s social media page has since posted two new images that appear to exploit a transgender character from the film.

“At this point…. Stop it. It’s not funny. No one laughing,” reads the top comment in one of the posts.

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