Two billboards by TV channel Al-Ghad Al-Araby were taken down after stirring controversy among political figures in Egypt and several other Gulf countries.
The promotional campaign, entitled “the picture with all dimensions,” aimed at displaying political figures with a background allegedly revealing their true policies and affiliations. It included figures from several countries, such as the United States (US), Turkey, and Iran. The two billboards taken down displayed the supreme leader of Iran Ali Khamenei and another showing Turkish president Recep Erdogan.
The first billboard for Khamenei showed the cleric taking a “selfie” with some Gulf skyscrapers in the background. The poster allegedly reflected Iran’s aspirations to take over Gulf countries. The second billboard showed the Turkish president Erdogan sitting on a chair with many people arrested in the background.
The critical campaign also included figures like US president Barrack Obama, and current presidential candidates Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump.
The Khamenei billboard created outrage among Egyptian political figures and others from the Gulf states, like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. It is no secret that the Iranian revolutionary guide Khamenei is not well received in many Gulf countries.
The head of Al-Ghad Al-Araby satellite channel, Abdel Latif El Menawy, addressed the media in a statement that was also published on the channel website explaining that the promotional campaign was misunderstood by the public.
“The channel has launched the campaign entitled ‘the picture with all dimensions’, anyone who contemplates the billboard will remark that the Khamenei’s billboard refers to the Iranian ambitions in Gulf countries,” he stated.
El Menway asserted that the billboard was removed in full cooperation with security apparatuses, after his channel explained the real significance of the advertisement was not intended to be an insult to any of the Arab Gulf countries.
El-Menawy is the former head of news department at the Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU) under the Mubarak regime. Throughout the 18 days of the 25 January Revolution the TV new channels did not air clashes taking place in Tahrir Square.