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Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

#HeadsRoll: Indian mattress company uses image of Malala being shot in ad campaign

An Indian mattress company has caused an outrage after releasing using an advertisement depicting Pakistani teenage activist Malala Yousafzai being shot in the head.

The ad was created for Kurl-On by the international advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather, and shows Malala being shot in the face and falling backwards covered in blood and then being attached to an IV drip before “bouncing back” to receive an award.

In 2012, Yousafzai, then 14, was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman as she rode the bus to school. She was later flown to the UK for life-saving surgery at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham where she lives with her family.

Her courage has won her global acclaim and recognition.

The ad has been blasted as insensitive and distasteful, but the company is defending it as a tribute.

A representative from Ogilvy & Mather wrote on the Ads of the World website: “We believe that hers is a breathtakingly inspiring story and while all of us do not have the raw courage or moral fiber to do what she did, we can try to pay a tribute to her by any means available to us.”

The posting on Ads of the World has since been removed.

The ad has also attracted criticism from industry insiders.

The company Kurl-On reportedly commissioned a series of three advertisements from the design agency under the motto “Bouncing Back.”

One of the other two ads features Gandhi leaving his career as a lawyer before becoming a peace activist and the other shows Steve Jobs’ rise as founder of Apple.

Since the shooting Yousafzai has released her autobiography, and received several humanitarian awards for her activism, including a Nobel Peace Prize nomination.

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