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On Monday, Tata’s jewellery brand Tanishq reportedly withdrew an advertisement in response, it seemed, to an online uproar against it. The commercial in question featured a baby shower for a Hindu daughter-in-law held by her Muslim husband’s family. Regular old slice-of-life advertising, one would think, with a mixed couple chosen as a special device to break the ad clutter and set Tanishq apart. Except that a torrent of angry reactions, some of them hurling lurid accusations of “love jihad", appears to have forced a rethink on the advertiser.

It is unfortunate that Tanishq backed down. The company has worked diligently to create an enduring set of values for the name to convey. Avant-garde attitudes were an integral part of that mix. Think of its 2013 ad that showed remarriage. That one also faced a few brickbats, but the brand didn’t budge, perhaps aware of how its stance would consolidate its position in consumer mindspace as a badge of modernity blended with tradition. Today, as critics use social media tools as shrill megaphones, it’s all the more important for brands to abide by values that make for a better world. Diversity is among them.

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