Dr Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije
Dr Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije

From the Flagstaff House to the Ako Adjei Interchange stands an imposing acrylic paint billboard on the left hand side of the street, advertising a new product under the brand name, ‘NEUCE’. The visual complementing the text of the copy is a semi-nude lady sitting on top of a bucket of ‘neuce’ acrylic paint

Dr Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije
Dr Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije

The lady has straddled the bucket of paint with her legs widely opened. Whilst the upper part of her body is decently covered, the down part, including her waist, thighs and private part, is almost stark naked with only a net-like material covering it. She has one palm over the other which she has used to cover her private part. It is a nauseating sight to behold! It is debasing, demeaning and an insult to womanhood.

We of Public Agenda find this billboard culturally and socially most offensive and should not be countenanced. Advertisers should not portray women as sex objects, and we expected the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, the many women groups, women rights activists, among others, to be clamouring for its removal since it does not resonate with the time-honoured and cherished values of our culture.

Some few years back, a similarly repulsive billboard was erected near the Accra Polo grounds; it had a woman who had equally opened her two legs, and with impudence, had this to say, “I feel confident through my legs” or something to that effect. That billboard generated uproar and attracted all the condemnations it deserved. Finally, the issue was raised in Parliament and it had to be removed immediately. Thus, we thought our advertisers would be guided by the backlash that billboard suffered and not inflict such obscene material on society again. But it appears some of them did not care a hoot about it.

All persons responsible for public communication of some sort should be reminded that there are limitations on our right to free expression. We are limited by laws of defamation, Contempt of Court and Parliament, and laws on obscenity. Besides, our societal ethics act as constraints and we cannot throw them to the winds in the name of freedom of speech and of expression.

The ‘NEUCE’ acrylic paint is unacceptable and we therefore call on the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and the Advertisers Association of Ghana to cause its removal.

Source; Public Agenda

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