Kalyan Jewellers' brand image was at risk because of the controversy surrounding its advertisement featuring Amitabh Bachchan. Bankers were threatening court cases, boycott calls and even a dharna against Kalyan Jewellers
New Delhi: Under fire from banking staff for portraying them in “bad light", leading jewellery chain Kalyan Jewellers was forced to withdraw an advertisement featuring Amitabh Bachchan and daughter Shweta Bachchan Nanda. Beyond threats of litigation for “casting aspersions and hurting the sentiments of banking personnel through the advertisement", the brand value of Kalyan Jewellers was also affected as a result of the controversial ad.
Sections of the banking community were making calls on Twitter to boycott Kalyan Jewellers. The fight was led by the All India Bank Officers’ Confederation, an organisation claiming to have a membership of around 3,20,000 bank employees. The association also threatened to launch an agitation against the jewellery chain.
What provoked bank employees further was a tweet by Big B himself, who has a following of over 3.4 million people on Twitter. Bachchan has praised the ad, saying he becomes emotional everytime he sees himself in the ad with his daughter.
In a statement, Kalyan Jewellers admitted that the Bachchan advertisement had hurt the sentiments of the banking community. “Any such hurtful interpretation being drawn is unintended. We state that the creative advertisement was a work of fiction and not a reflection of banking employees at large," a statement from the jewellery firm said while regretting the unintended hurt it had caused. Kalyan Jewellers has withdrawn the advertisement from all media with immediate effect.
The storyboard of the controversial advertisement features Amitabh Bachchan as an old man who goes to a bank along with his real life daughter Shweta Bachchan Nanda and has a bitter encounter with bank employees.