By Benjamin Flowers
Belize Telemedia Limited this week, apologized for a line of advertisements which have raised the public’s ire as being offensive to women.
BTL issued an initial response to an open letter sent by Senator Lisa Shoman, addressing the issue, where Executive Chairman of BTL, Anwar Barrow, said that the ads were immediately removed from the company’s social media pages.
“The company sincerely apologizes to our customers for any offense taken”, Barrow said .
“We have subsequently put in place a proper screening process for social media posts and will be further considering other supplemental measures.”
Barrow added that the company would make a more substantive formal response on Friday August 7.
Shoman wrote to BTL on Tuesday, pointing out several of the advertisements, including those on the company’s Facebook and Instagram pages, which either sexualized or promoted violence against women.
She pointed out the ads used for the “Free WiFi Pan Di Road” campaign, where images sexualizing women were used to market one of the company’s services.
She further pointed out an ad for Digicell’s “Night Shift” service, bearing the image of a woman bound and her mouth covered with duct tape with an accompanying hash tag.
“Memes like this help to perpetuate a culture of contempt for women and abuse of their personhood. It is this that helps to cement a culture of violence against women, and equates women as flesh for male consumption”, Shoman scolded.
She also called for an apology and immediate cessation of that type of advertising. The full text of Shoman’s letter can be found on pg. 36.