Saad Khan, a participant in a branded Reality TV show for Clear Men's Shampoo, sponsored by Unilever Pakistan and managed by media agency Mindshare, died on August 19 in Bangkok while performing a stunt for the show. This unfortunate event brings to the fore issues of responsible advertising including branded TV shows. While we recognise that accidents do happen even when due care has been taken to prevent them, we demand that the companies involved and the authorities disclose the truth about the tragic event and not engage in a corporate cover up. Unilever should also fulfill its stated commitment to take appropriate steps for providing for the family of the deceased and publicly disclose these steps. We also demand that a Code of Responsible Advertising be developed and enforced preferably through a self-regulatory process under the aegis of the Pakistan Advertising Association, or through the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority, which would ensure that sponsors of advertisements and branded shows on the electronic media are held equally responsible for the acts of commission or omission of their agencies, production partners and other service providers in their supply chains.
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