Friday, June 3, 2011

Fury over Vodafone Egypt advert claiming revolution as its own

Video scorned because phone company shut down its network at Mubarak's behest to hamper protests

Jack Shenker, Friday 3 June 2011

"Vodafone is facing a backlash in Egypt over an advert suggesting it helped inspire this year's revolution in the country.

The three-minute commercial featured excerpts from a Vodafone ad campaign entitled Our Power , which was launched three weeks before an anti-government uprising swept the country. The video goes on to show images from protest rallies in Cairo's Tahrir Square before claiming: "We didn't send people to the streets, we didn't start the revolution … We only reminded Egyptians how powerful they are."

The short film features screengrabs of Facebook and Twitter messages posted by Egyptians approving of the Vodafone ad campaign, then an audio recording of Hosni Mubarak's resignation as president being announced on TV.

In fact, many pro-change activists blame Vodafone and other mobile phone companies for following Egyptian government orders and implementing a communications blackout at the height of the revolution. They have condemned the advert as a "sickening" attempt to push up sales by "riding the revolutionary bandwagon", and an insult to the hundreds who died in the struggle to bring down Mubarak..... "

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