Indian telecom company’s not so progressive ad featuring a “boss wife” causes Twitter reaction

Published: July 30, 2014

Scene from Airtel’s latest commercial. YouTube/Screengrab.


New Delhi  – Is a woman who calls the shots in the office then goes home to cook for her husband – who’s also her junior in the workplace – “demoralizing” or “sexist?”

Some people seem to think so, as India’s telecom service provider Bharti Airtel’s latest ad depicts this modern day woman, which caused some people to take to Twitter to express their outrage over the company’s take on feminism.

The ad features a woman setting a deadline for her subordinates, which includes her husband.

On her way home, she calls  her husband to check what he would like to eat for dinner and is then seen preparing a few dishes.

Through with cooking, she asks her husband to come home and tempts him with her home-cooked food by sending him a video – at which moment the ad reveals the wife is also the man’s boss from earlier.

Airtel, often known for heart wrenching ads, was hit and miss with this one.

Twitter user Sarah Jacob said: ”Ah, Airtel. You attempt to be ‘progressive’ and ‘feminist’. End up with an ad even more retrograde and sexist than usual!”

Parul Tyagi tweeted: “The Boss wife Airtel ad is the latest example of ‘trying too hard to look cool while riding on feminism.’ Total fail.”

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But according to local expert, Prahlad Kakkar, the ad is perfectly valid and there’s nothing wrong with the content.

“She’s cooked meal with her own hands because it is important to her to cook for her husband. It’s special. I think it’s perfectly valid ad. It means that sometimes women are more competent than men…not all the time but sometimes and that they deserve to be bosses,” Kakkar told IANS from Mumbai. “Why shouldn’t women be bosses in the office?”

“They can still cook for their husbands and still be good housewives. But in the workplace… that’s resentment… that’s where men don’t like their women being senior to them.

Watch the ad here:

IFRAME Embed for Youtube

IANS 2014-07-30 18:44:03


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