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Virgin Mobile Ad Appears To Condone Rape, Gets Pulled After Airing

Virgin Mobile Rape

Virgin Mobile US has pulled a new video advertisement after it appeared to be condoning the act of rape.

The cellular company was quick to pull the ad but not before Twitter user EverydaySexism was able to grab a screencast of the ad, which read “Necklace? or Chloroform?”

Immediately following the ad’s debut, Virgin founder and CEO Richard Branson called the online spot “ill-judged” and “a dreadful mistake”.

In the video, a man is giving his significant other a present. As he shields her eyes, the words “The gift of Christmas surprise. Necklace? Or chloroform?” appear within the ad.

Twitter users were quick to attack the “rape” ad as sexist and disturbing, noting that “violence isn’t funny” and that the add “perpetuates misogyny.”

Responding further to the Virgin Mobile rape ad, Richard Branson writes on the Virgin group website:

“Having just seen, for the first time, the Virgin Mobile US advert which has upset many today, I agree it is ill-judged.

“Although I don’t own the company, it carries our brand. I will speak to the team there, make my thoughts clear and see what can be done about it.”

Branson ends with the following message:

Virgin Mobile US usually get these things right, although on this occasion it is clear they have gone too far.”

Even the people behind the ad have called it a “dreadful mistake” that should never have been made.

Virgin Mobile US says of the ad spot:

“This image was not approved by Virgin Mobile USA. We apologize deeply to anyone who has been offended by this posting. It was removed early this morning.”

What do you think of the company’s obvious misstep?

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2 Responses to “Virgin Mobile Ad Appears To Condone Rape, Gets Pulled After Airing”

  1. Jerry Grenoble

    I think it's funny. I know I prefer a necklace over chloroform. 😉

  2. Sam Kigelman

    Oh jeeeez……. get a friggin grip!!!!!!!!!! An elderly couple? Tryin to spice up their rel-ship and love life? What in Sam Hill does this have to do with rape……..? That's prolly the writers of the ad took this risk….. they thought we as AMericans have risen above this….
    Rape can and should be joked about! It's painfully obvious to anyone was is right and what is wrong THAT IS WHY Sofia Vergara joked on the View a while back that she was raped at 13 and that is why she's not much older than her son… Heck – my mom and aunt sometimes joke about it… this was said in Russian: "If you're being raped and you realize you can't get out of it, just relax and enjoy it…" Sounds dreadful, but that's a brand of Russian humor. Making jokes about something doesn't mean condoning it. I think deep down people get it, too. Many of us are just sick of being politically correct. Gilbert Gottfried is one of them.
    It's not typical to talk about chloroform on a holiday advertisement, no. But Xmas and New Years ads have been too dang cheesy… this is probably what inspired the writers behind the ad to make it. Why blow it out of proportion? The couple suing Virgin is stupid… When you're older, I think NOT having sex is the problem :D. When a man isn't attracted to his wife 'cause she's getting older, that is probably the issue for elderly folks. To hell with rape………

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