TOPWearable Translator Ad Sparks Harassment Accusations in Japan

Wearable Translator Ad Sparks Harassment Accusations in Japan

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By admin

What appears to be an advertisement for a new wearable translator called “Ili” has set the internet alight with controversy, as many claim it’s sexist and should be considered street harassment.

The video, called “Kisses in Tokyo,” depicts the product’s spokesperson, Dean, wandering around Tokyo asking young women to kiss him, through the aid of the translator. Most of the women are understandably visibly shocked and uncomfortable: one lady runs away and another hits him with her bag as he tries to touch her.

You can watch the video below:

The device’s Japanese manufacturer Logbar has not yet confirmed whether the video is a genuine advertisement for “Ili,” although we must admit that as a translator, the device seems to work pretty well – it’s quick, accurate and small. Manufacturers claim that it doesn’t need an internet connection to work and can translate English, Japanese and Chinese all on-the-go. In fact, TechCrunch Japan says that if it works as well as it appears to, it could change the world.

The advertisement on the other hand, we’re not so sure about. In fact, these somewhat forceful tactics remind us a bit of the infamous Julien Blanc – a pick-up artist who travels the world giving lectures about his techniques for “getting the ladies.” You may even remember the 2014 petition to prevent him from entering Japan.

Social media is rife with opinions ranging from claims that the ad is “playful and funny,” through to saying it’s “creepy,” “forceful,” “scary,” “totally unacceptable” and “promoting sexual harassment.”

We’re interested to know what you think. Let us know your thoughts about the device and/or the ads in the comments.

—Chris Zajko

Image: Screenshot from youtube.com, via Buzzfeed.