An advertising poster which first appeared on Wednesday this week has created controversy in Casablanca
Citizens were astonished at the sight of a new poster along major arteries of their city. The advertiser, British Workshop, is a centre offering English courses.
This poster depicts a character pointing a pistol at his head with the following slogan: "If you still don't speak English, and underneath the message in Moroccan Darija, "sir t'moute"
Locals were shocked by the bad taste and mediocrity of this advertising, but Thami Benboujida, general manager of the British Workshop, says it is simply "offbeat and creative".
Thami Benboujida, is obviously a believer in the old adage "there is no such thing as bad publicity". He is forthright in his explanation. "We want to shock, and this is the purpose of this publicity. English is the language of the future. It is essential for children to be interested in this language from an early age and this is the message we want to convey ".
To the point of suggesting suicide? The boss of the training establishment is justified by giving his poster a sarcastic character, yet it is necessary to perceive it. "We want to encourage young people to learn English," tempers Thami Benboujida.
Many Moroccans remain unconvinced and point out that the incitement to suicide should be illegal as suicide itself is in Morocco.
The British Embassy Tweeted that it found the poster "unpleasant".
Management of the GAM (Groupement des Annoncesurs du Maroc
). Mounir Jazouli, reportedly says he was scandalised by the advert, but said that GAM "has no authority to control the content of billboards". The sector "is not subject to any control of any entity whatsoever".
In order for a poster to be withdrawn, "there must first be a civil society complaint or a complaint filed with the authorities. The control is therefore a posteriori", says Mounir Jazouli. "This kind of slippage, although very rare in Morocco, emanates from irregular small advertisers. The GAM advertisers are also subject to a charter of ethics and content of advertising messages and which GAM ensures the follow-up and the correct application. "
When the GAM intervenes, with non-members for similar incidents, it is informally. Its role is therefore purely preventive and awareness-raising.