iPhone ad: imitating ISIS
Promo video-clip, spread in the Internet by the ‘iPhone +’ store, irritated the Facebook users.
The store, that sells Apple products in Tbilisi, posted on its Facebook page a video called entitled ‘iPLUSIS’, showing the masked men with guns in their hands. “Allah Akbar could be heard and the company’s promo text goes in caption at the end of the video.
This video has outraged Georgian users.
Nika Kavtaradze: ‘May you all join Steve Jobs! ‘
Nestan Nene Kvinikadze: “Any form of expression is acceptable for me, both, in art and in advertising. iPhone + should be at least fined for what it spreads! Relevant authorities, you need to pay attention to it! ‘
Gocha Kimutsadze: “Do you think this is a topic for jokes or it can be used to attract anybody’s attention? This clearly wouldn’t do! It is impudent, shameless and is totally out of line. IPhone +, I do hope that Apple, whose partner you are going to become, will refuse to cooperate with you. ‘
Anano Aimée: I’ve sent Apple an e-mail, calling for appropriate action, since no one but people responds here to such cases. The relevant authorities are dawdling. So, I’ve sent them a video link and snitched to Apple on iPLUSIS, as they renamed themselves. ‘
Besides, a manifest has been created, demanding from the company to apologize.
As it is pointed out in the video, iphone + is going to become Apple’s official partner since January and, consequently, ‘iPhone + threatens to offer strong competition to rivals and calls for protection of consumer interests.
Lawyers say, the video content may be the subject to investigation.
‘The video has no explicit implications to support for terrorism, however, the investigation should determine what its goal was,’ – Levan Vepkhvadze, a representative of the Georgian Young Lawyers Association NGO, stated in the interview to the ‘Netgazeti Internet-publication.
Following the Facebook scandal, the company spokesman, Goga Tirkia, made a comment on it. In his words, the video did not have any political load and fully fit the freedom of expression framework. He noted that it was a humorous video with a simple content and it did not convey any other messages.
Besides, a statement, providing explanation to the video content, was released on behalf of the company through the Facebook.
‘This humorous video has been shot in these hard times to express our protest and, at the same time, encourage the society, that is outraged by the tragedy and inhuman act, it has recently witnessed,’ the statement reads.
Representatives of iPhone+ said they would not be withdrawing the video despite all the hullabaloo around it, but, it now turns out, they have withdrawn it after all.
The scandal over the iPhone+ video triggered a Facebook discussion about the right to freedom of expression.
Those who have called for iPhone+ to be punished for the ad have now been reminded about Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons.
Paata Shamugia: “I’ve decided to become #jesiusiphone+. I’ve seen the video, and it’s disgusting indeed. I’ve read the comments, the whole country has come forward to moralize, and it, too, is disgusting. It’s true the joke was somewhat less than politically correct, but let’s recall how Charlie Hebdo responded with a far more “amoral cartoon to the Russian airliner crash in Egypt. If we choose to defend Charlie, we should not lambast others who’ve done a similar thing. It’s a double standard. To be short, we’ve got to choose – we are either “je suis or we are not. Personally, I don’t like the ad, I am against making fun of a tragedy. But that’s how democracy works. If they don’t violate the law, we cannot demand that they be punished just because we don’t like how they joke.’