Citroën ads have been accused of promoting sexual harassment in Egypt

Advertising by French carmaker Citroën has sparked controversy in Egypt after activists said it aided sexual harassment in a country where the practice is widespread, the Associated Press reported.

The advertisement of Citroën, an Egyptian subsidiary, which was released in December, featured the famous Egyptian singer and actor Amr Diab.

He sits behind the wheel of the last Citroën C4 and brakes sharply when he sees the woman crossing the street.

Diab looks at the woman and captures her with a camera mounted in the rearview mirror of the car. The singer smiles when a picture of a woman appears in his phone. Then they appear together as if on a date.

Although the ad was apparently intended to show the car’s camera, it was criticized by the carmaker and the 60-year-old singer, who is considered by many in the Arab world.

Citroën Egypt has apologized and removed the 100-second ad.

The agency notes that the scale of the issue of sexual harassment and violence in Egypt became known in the years following the 2011 popular uprising that toppled longtime ouster Hosni Mubarak after mass rapes and sexual assaults during several protests.