Snapchat has apologized for approving and promoting an ad which asked users if they “would rather slap Rihanna or punch Chris Brown.”
The ad, featured on the California-based social media platform, appeared to reference Chris Brown’s conviction for assaulting Rihanna in his car after a pre-Grammy party in 2009.
Rihanna, pictured posing with long red locks is positioned next to the phrase “Slap Rihanna.”
Chris Brown is positioned directly under her, appearing to dance, next to the phrase “Punch Chris Brown.”
Shocked Snapchat users took to other social media platforms to express their disgust and question why the ad was created in the first place.
A Snapchat spokesperson told Sun Online: “The ad was reviewed and approved in error as it violates our advertising guidelines. We immediately removed the ad last weekend, once we became aware. We are sorry that this happened.”
Social media user @TheRoyceMann took a screenshot of the advert on Sunday and tweeted: “Is it just me, or is this ad that popped up on my Snapchat extremely tone deaf? Like what were they thinking with this?”
Activist Brittany Packnett retweeted the post, along with hundreds of others and expressed her disgust.
She said: “I know that social media ads go through an approval process from the platform. This means @Snapchat approved an ad that makes light of domestic violence.”
“The update isn’t the only thing that’s wack friends.”
Hillary Clinton’s daughter Chelsea slammed the advert as “awful.”
She tweeted: “Just awful. Awful that anyone thinks this is funny. Awful that anyone thinks this is appropriate. Awful that any company would approve this.”
Twitter user Emily gained hundreds of likes for claiming Snapchat was “run by frat boys” who approved the ad.
Chris Brown later admitted “busting Rihanna’s lip” which left her “spitting blood” and with facial injuries so severe she required hospital treatment.
He pleaded guilty to assaulting his former girlfriend and was sentenced to 180 days of community service for the attack.
Snapchat’s advertising policy states: “All ads are subject to our review and approval. We reserve the right to reject or remove any ad in our sole discretion for any reason.”
The company includes a list of banned content which includes “shocking, sensational or disrespectful content”.