Say bye-bye to the friendly Shell cut-out standees. The oil company has released a statement that the standees would be removed from all of its stations with immediate effect.
Nor Shafila Khairusalleh, 25, shot to fame when advertisements featuring her image started ‘peeking out’ of corners in Shell petrol stations nationwide, offering mineral water or giving a ‘thumbs up’ sign with a bright smile on her face.
However, the model has expressed her dismay upon discovering photos displaying antics of a group of men doing inappropriate, obscene things to the life-sized cardboard cut-outs of herself.
The photos – which include grabbing the breasts and groping ‘private areas’ of the cut-outs – have gone viral on social media, triggering wrath and sensitivity of the public.
Nor Shafila said the standees were meant to brighten up the stations, and she had never expected they would attract such behaviour.
“If they did things like putting their hands over the eyes, pinching the nose or hugging the cut-out, I can still accept that since it’s just a poster,” said Nor Shafila. “But when it points towards sexual behaviour, I think that’s going overboard.”
“They might just be messing around, but I feel humiliated although it’s just a cut-out of me,” she added. She claimed that her husband was distressed seeing men ‘molest’ her image, but he remains an understanding partner.
Upon discovering the situation, Shell insisted that it does not condone this disrespectful act which is completely against the culture of Malaysians and Shell’s core values. The oil giant took a stern and swift measure in curbing the ‘distasteful and suggestive’ behaviour by taking the standees down immediately. Today, not a single cut-out is seen in any Shell petrol station we dropped by at.
We’re going to miss the tiny heart attacks and the bright, friendly smile, but we believe Shell did it to protect the best interest of its staff, and that is applaudable.