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A company statement noted that the idea behind the campaign is to celebrate the coming together of people from different walks of life.
A company statement noted that the idea behind the campaign is to celebrate the coming together of people from different walks of life.

Tanishq pulls ad post trolling

  • The ad featured a Muslim family holding a traditional South Indian ceremony for pregnant daughter-in-law

Titan Ltd-owned jewellery brand Tanishq removed its new campaign ‘Ekatvam’ (Oneness) from all media platforms, a day after being viciously trolled on Twitter for “glorifying" love jihad. The 45-second ad featured a Muslim family celebrating a traditional South Indian baby shower ceremony for pregnant daughter-in-law.

A company statement noted that the idea behind the campaign is to celebrate the coming together of people from different walks of life. “This film has stimulated divergent and severe reactions, contrary to its very objective. We are deeply saddened with the inadvertent stirring of emotions and withdraw this film keeping in mind the hurt sentiments."

Those who slammed the ad released on 9 October said it glorified love jihad, a term coined by Hindu extremist groups to refer to an alleged campaign by Muslims to convert Hindu girls in the guise of love. The brand was also criticized for promoting fake secular sentiment while hurting the feelings of a particular religious community. People tweeted with the hashtag #BoycottTanishq calling for a ban on the advertisement and a boycott of the brand.

A section of Twitter users also supported Tanishq, lauding its effort to highlight the beauty of interfaith marriages. Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor tweeted that “If Hindu-Muslim ‘ekatvam’ irks them so much, why don’t they boycott the longest surviving symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity in world—India?"

From attacking stereotypes to celebrating the spirit of emancipated young Indian woman, Tanishq advertising has always been progressive and bold. Advertising experts believe the new campaign is line with the brand’s core method of communicating with consumers.

The adverse reaction is unwarranted as the ad does not show anything harmful or insidious, said Sambit Mohanty, creative head (south), McCann Worldgroup India. “It portrays a picture of harmony, love and affection, which is the idea of India. That said, religion is an extremely touchy topic and brands usually stay away from such narratives," he said.

Watchdog Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) said that its panel has reviewed the ad after receiving a complaint of it being objectionable. “This panel was unanimous that nothing in the advertisement was indecent or vulgar or repulsive, which is likely in the light of generally prevailing standards of decency and propriety, to cause grave and widespread offence," it noted.

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