Moroccan commercials accused of undermining family values, mocking mothers-in-law


Several Moroccan commercials have lately come on fire for undermining social and family relations by inciting wives against their husbands and ridiculing the mothers-in-law.

Several private radio stations, TV channels, and websites have been broadcasting commercials perceived by many as violating social norms in order to promote the advertised product.

Some commercial advice women to be harsh with their husbands while others portray the mother-in-law as an intruder who needs to be gotten rid of for the sake of the family’s peace of mind.

This has prompted many activists to launch pages on social networking website Facebook to express their anger at commercials that “insult men” by telling women to mistreat them if they want to “live in peace.”

The campaign against the commercials aims to call upon the relevant authorities to be firm with companies that produce them and the media outlets that communicate them to the public due to their negative effect on Moroccan society, especially the uneducated people, said Monsef Farouhi, the admin of one of the Facebook pages.

“Those commercials usually address uneducated women who follow the advice without thinking. This affects their behavior and their relationship with their husbands,” he told Al Arabiya.

An official at the Higher Authority of Audiovisual Communication, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the authority, which is in charge of monitoring the performance of audio and visual media, will not hesitate to take firm action against any media outlet that violates the principles of Moroccan society.

“However, we have not yet made a decision about the commercials that have caused this controversy,” he told Al Arabiya.

The reason for the prevalence of such commercials, the source explained, is that some channels or websites take advantage of the amount of freedom available to the media in Morocco to broadcast material that contradict the socially established laws of the conservative Moroccan society.

“These bodies only care about financial gains and do not pay attention to the negative social or ethical impact.”

The controversial content, he added, is not necessarily presented in an indirect way.

“Some commercials undermine social values in a subtle way in order to promote the product or service they are offering.”

(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)