GrabCar has issued an apology over its recent breast awareness campaign, which was met with furrowed brows and heavy criticism due to the liberal use of the word “boobs” in much of its materials and public service announcements.
The campaign also had with it the hastag #GrabitBeatit, leading many to misconstrue the campaigns intentions, denouncing it as distasteful and sexist according to The Malay Mail.
The public were aghast when GrabCar, a unit of the MyTeski cab-booking service, published the message “Love boobs? So does cancer,” on its social media streams as well as offering T-shirts with the slogan.
In response to public reaction, the firm posted statement on their Twitter feed: “Breast cancer is not a trivial issue and we regret that the taglines are not reflective of the seriousness of the issue. We chose a tagline that would capture the public’s attention, because greater awareness can save lives.”
The outrage was further fueled over the internet with the publishing of a video that was endorsed by the GrabCar campaign titled “What if BOOBS don’t exist?”, with some alleging it further objectifies and unnecessarily sexualizes women as well as being counterproductive to the cause of breast cancer awareness in the context of women’s equality.
GrabCar added that the message was only meant to encourage women to be more proactive in their approach to cancer screening and self examination.
The campaign is a regional effort that is also run in MyTeksi’s other countries of operation such as Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand, in addition to Malaysia. GrabCar says all proceeds will be channeled to the Breast Cancer Welfare Association.
An RM30 donation entitles one to receive a “Pink Kit” that includes white T-Shirt with the phrase “LOVE BOOBS?” adorned on the chest, badges, and an instruction card for breat self-examination.