[FACT OR FAKE #1] This Ad Was Targeted At Pakatan Supporters?

LRT commuters spotted this Harian Metro "Penjenayah suka pakai hitam" advertisement on the handrails of the Putra LRT a day after the Kelana Jaya Black 505 rally. Was this advertisement politically motivated to attack the 120,000 Black Wednesday supporters? Fact or fake? We found out the real story behind the handle bars.

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Fact or Fake: Was this Harian Metro ad targeted at Black 505 supporters?

Fact or Fiction: Was this Harian Metro ad targeted at Black 505 supporters?

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Why so controversial?

LRT passengers spotted these advertisements out on the handles of the trains the day after 120,000 wore black to attend the Black 505 Pakatan Rakyat rally.

[FULL STORY] 'The biggest rally in recent times'. That's what MalaysiaKini says about the 120,000 strong crowd of Malaysians dressed in black, at the Pidato Anwar Ibrahim: Suara Rakyat, Suara Keramat gathering despite earlier rumours and concern about the gathering being illegal.

What caught the attention of Malaysians, especially around the time of the mass rally on 8 May. What followed was an onslaught of criticisms on Facebook for Harian Metro and its ads.

Malaysian Facebook users believed it was politically motivated

Ραкαтαη яαкүαт εlεcтισηs ηεωs: "Penjenayah suka pakai hitam. Agree???"

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Nur Hafizah Bahijah: Saya suka pakai JUBAH HITAM, TUDUNG HITAM & PURDAH HITAM.. kebanyakkan JUBAH, TUDUNG LABUH & PURDAH saya adalah warna HITAM...Tapi saya bukan penjenayah... (^_^)

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Photo from Ραкαтαη яαкүαт εlεcтισηs ηεωs

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Photo credit: Marketing Interactive

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Debunked: It was an ad placed at the wrong place, wrong time

The Lucid Ideas Page of Lucideas: Shocked to see this on your way to the 508 rally at Stadium Kelana Jaya? We are Lucideas and we admit to doing this handrail Ad. But really, this Ad went on in February.

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We are Lucideas and we admit to doing this handgrip ad. But really, this Ad went on in February. Way before we knew how the elections would turn out, or that Malaysians would come out in great numbers wearing black as a powerful statement. (Admittedly, we’re not that forward thinking.)

And honestly, this was done for the biggest sensational newspaper Harian Metro as part of a cheeky campaign. As much as Malaysians want an UBAH, we want to UBAH advertising too.

As part of its revamp, Harian Metro, together with Lucideas Creative, had launched the Lagi Gempak campaign in January 2013. The 360 campaign, which runs for six months, underlines the tabloid's coverage of sensational, supernatural stories, bizarre crime reports and celebrity scandals.

For LRTs, Harian Metro had intended to engage the public by asking them to take a good look at their surrounding.

For weeks since the ads were put up in early February, LRT commuters were entertained with Harian Metro's odd-ball ads with taglines such as "Salah satu kegunaan beg besar ialah untuk mengangkut mayat"

"We were not expecting this sort of negative feedback as the ads were never meant to provoke. The handrail ads were put up months before the election, and it was meant to be tongue-in-cheek," said Sharifah Sharina Syed Mustafa Shahabudin, marketing manager at Harian Metro.

So, what does the 'hitam' imply?

"In this case, it could very well meant Orang Minyak (a local folklore creature) or Darth Vader. Malaysians attending the Kelana Jaya rally dressed in black might have misconstrued the ad," Xavier Damien Xavier, account director at Lucideas Creative, tells A+M.

"Harian Metro is about going beyond sensationalism and the ads were meant to reflect that. These ad pieces were meant to be cheeky, without having any political reference, said Sharifah Sharina Syed Mustafa Shahabudin, marketing manager at Harian Metro.

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