No More 'Gadis Air Mineral' Cutouts At Shell After Some Men Took Obscene Photos With Them
Shell has decided to remove all the cutouts after "distasteful" photos of men with the cutouts went viral on social media.
Last year, Malaysians were introduced to 'Gadis Air Mineral' (Mineral Water Girl) at Shell petrol stations
Nor Shafila Khairusalleh, who is a manager at a Shell petrol station in Tronoh, Perak, was the poster girl for the 'Everyday Bright Moments' BonusLink campaign that was held late last year.
Cutouts of her holding up a bottle of mineral water (hence the name, 'Gadis Air Mineral') were placed in various Shell petrol stations across the country.
The 27-year-old rose to fame when she went viral on social media as quite a number of customers shared online about how they got "frightened" and was "surprised" by the life-sized pop-up cutouts that appeared to be too realistic.
A few months later, Nor Shafila reprised her role and 'Gadis Air Mineral' made a comeback recently
Unlike the previous campaign, the cutouts depict Nor Shafila without the signature mineral water in her hands.
Instead, the cutouts depict her posing with a 'thumbs up' to promote the new range of Shell fuels with DYNAFLEX technology.
Still, Malaysians instantly recognised that it was the same person and most were excited to see the cutouts.
This time, some customers began to pose with the cutouts and shared the photos taken on social media
However, what started off as "cheeky" attempts to take creative photos soon turned ugly when some people began to "molest" the cutouts
After the photos went viral, Nor Shafila has admitted that she felt uncomfortable when she found out that some men had appeared to violate her "figure"
Nor Shafila told mStar Online she was aware that she cannot stop the public even if they go overboard since the cutouts were being displayed at many Shell petrol stations.
She said that she could "accept" it if they did little things such as closing the eyes or hugging the posters but she felt that some people have gone too far when they do suggestive acts.
"They may just be joking, but I feel ashamed because that is still myself although it is just an image," she was quoted as saying.
Responding to the matter, Shell has decided to remove the promotional standees from all of its premises
In a statement on Monday, 3 July, Shell (M) Bhd said that it was aware of that such "distasteful" photos were circulating online.
"We do not condone this disrespectful act, which is completely against the culture of Malaysians and Shell's core values."
"The standee (cutout) will be removed from all our sites with immediate effect."
Meanwhile, one of the men in the photos that went viral have come forward to apologise
The man, who identified himself as Shahril Azmi Abdul Shukor, issued a public apology to Nor Shafila through a video that was posted on his Facebook account yesterday, 4 July.
"I humbly apologise and ask for forgiveness especially from Nor Shafila, her husband and her family. I admit I crossed the line," he said in the video, adding that he was prepared to personally meet Nor Shafila and her family to apologise.
"I understand that if I were in her shoes, I would have felt the same way," Shahril added.
He said that the photo was taken and intended as a joke, but he has realised that he might have gone overboard.
Watch the full video below: