AAAI and The Ad Club issue statements condemning attacks on Tanishq ad
The controversy surrounding Tanishq’s latest ad for its brand ‘Ekatvam’ is refusing to die down, even after the ad has been withdrawn after heavy trolling on social media. The ad showcases a Hindu-Muslim couple celebrating the wife’s baby shower and presents a positive message of religious harmony.
While netizens have been commenting on the silence of Ratan Tata, former Chairperson of Tata Group, in this matter, Tanishq issued a statement regarding the Ekatvam campaign, stating, “The idea behind the Ekatvam campaign is to celebrate the coming together of people from different walks of life, local communities and families during these challenging times and celebrate the beauty of oneness. This film has stimulated divergent and severe reactions, contrary to its very objective.”
The statement further added, “We are deeply saddened with the inadvertent stirring of emotions and withdraw this film keeping in mind the hurt sentiments and well-being of our employees, partners and store staff.”
Even after deleting film, Tanishq’s Ekatvam ad leaves social media opinions polarised
The words to note here are “well-being of our employees, partners and store staff”. A section of social media saw threats of bodily harm being issued against employees of the company, which has prompted this action by Tanishq.
Meanwhile, advertising watchdog, Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) said that it had received a complaint against the Tanishq advertisement, stating it to be objectionable since it promoted communal intermingling.
“The advertisement in question was viewed at ASCI by an independent multi stakeholder panel, the Consumer Complaints Council, which balances view points from industry, civil society, lawyers, consumer activists as well as domain experts. 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. The complaint was not upheld, as the advertisement did not violate the ASCI codes of honesty, truthfulness and decency in advertising. Therefore, ASCI has no objection to the airing of this advertisement, should the advertiser choose to do so.”
Update: The Advertising Agencies Association of India and The Advertising Club have issued statements condemning the attack on the ad.
"Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) disapproves the targeting of the recent Tanishq ad featuring an inter-faith couple. The threats against Tanishq as well as its employees, which led to the withdrawal of the advertisement, are a matter of great regret and concern.
The advertisement in question, in fact, had been viewed at the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) by an independent panel- The Consumer Complaints Council, which is representative of multiple stakeholders from industry, civil society, lawyers and consumer activists. The panel found nothing in the advertisement that was indecent or objectionable or repulsive that could lead to grave and widespread offence.
There is a consensus among all allied bodies and The International Advertising Association (IAA) India Chapter and The Advertising Club also support this."
"The Advertising Club on behalf of the Indian Media and Advertising industry strongly condemns the threatening and targeting of 'Tanishq' and its employees in regard to their latest advertisement on the new jewelry line. After review by our internal team consisting of multi-sectoral experts, we have come to a clear consensus that the advertisement breaks no ethical standards, is not derogatory to any person, organization or religion and does not hurt any national sentiment.
In continuance with its tradition, The Advertising Club upholds the primacy of creative freedom as a fundamental right of the Marketing and Advertising fraternity and hence disapprove of the approach to stymie that freedom. Our industry allied bodies of IAA and AAAI endorse our view that such baseless and irrelevant attack on creative expression is extremely concerning and we together stand by the team at Tanishq and against such aggression."