KARACHI — Pakistani advertisers in the feminine hygiene business have harnessed the political notoriety of WikiLeaks to tell women that while the US State Department might leak, they don’t have to.
Advertising sanitary pads on selected billboards in Pakistan’s financial capital Karachi, the latest catchphrase is: “WikiLeaks… Butterfly doesn’t”.
Leaked American diplomatic cables turned the Internet whistleblower into a household name in Pakistan, fascinating and appalling members of the public over reported inner dealings of their political and military elite.
Pakistani advertisers usually avoid the divisive world of politics but advertisers said the commercial had attracted considerable attention.
“We have received a huge response from the public and everyone has commended us on it,” said Syed Amjad Hussain, head of business development at RG Blue Communications, which pitched the advertisement to manufacturers Butterfly.
“It could have been yet another ad showing a girl promoting the sanitary pad, but we made it different, completely different,” art director Munir Bhatti told AFP.
Hussain said the response had been “great” although a fully-fledged media campaign had yet to start.
Coverage of the leaked American cables highlighted Western concerns about the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear arms and politicians’ private support for US drone attacks on Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in the country’s tribal belt.
They also revealed that the Pakistani army considered forcing out President Asif Ali Zardari, who made contingency plans for his assassination.