The topic of social media just waiting to boycott someone or something is often made fun of and dismissed as a bit of a joke than anything serious. And it is not without reason, since almost every other day something or another is triggering people online who then start posting about and eventually trend some hashtag related to boycotting it or cancelling it.
Over the course of years, several companies like Netflix, Hotstar, YouTube, Twitter, Zomato and more have seen this happen to them. A few here are pretty regular customers at the boycott lounge, with people trending about some issue or another related to them.
However, the issue comes in when these boycotts go beyond just being a trend for a few hours and actually create some impact, either positive or negative.
In the past few months itself, various ads and campaigns have come under immense fire on social media, but it didn’t stop there. The hosting companies and ads were, in turn, threatened online and by certain ministers, due to which they had to take down the ads. 1 or 2 ads having to go through this is not cause for concern, but the list just keeps on growing.
1. Dabur Ad
Around Karwa Chauth of this year, Dabur owned Fem brand, known for skin bleaching and lightening products came out with an advertisement just like any other brand. Since the festival is geared more towards women, it made sense they would create a campaign for it.
But their advertisement while getting love and appreciation also got bashed mercilessly by orthodox right-wing groups who claimed it was against Hindu culture. All because the ad showed a lesbian couple celebrating the ritual instead of a usual heterosexual couple.
The ad it iself is not offensive in the least, since it shows two women enthusiastically getting ready for the ritual and then panning to each completing their fast by looking at each other. This incensed a lot of people and even some ministers and due to the immense pressure Dabur decided to take down the ad.
2. Sabyasachi Mangulsutra Ad
Around the end of October, Indian fashion designer Sabyasachi came out with some advertisements promoting some new items from his collection.
One of the items was a line of mangalsutras, a traditional sacred Hindu thread that is worn only by married women. But the way that Sabyasachi promoted them really ticked off many people. Some of the images had a woman showing off the mangalsutra while wearing just lingerie, other few had gay couples both men and women wearing the mangalsutra.
People were so ticked off by this and along with it a legal notice sent by BJP’s legal advisor in Gujarat Advocate Ashutosh Dubey forced the company to take down the images.
3. Fabindia Diwali Ad
Fabindia, the ethnic Indianwear brand also came under fire for its Diwali collection. The thing that pissed off people was the name that they’d given to it, ‘Jashn-e-Riwaaz’.
People complained that the brand was trying to remove the Hindu elements from the festival and their campaigns around it.
The brand eventually had to remove posts related to it from their social media pages due to the heavy backlash.
4. Manyavar ad
Manyavar-Mohey’s ad with Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt also received a lot of insults from people who considered it against Hindu culture. The ad had shown Bhatt during her wedding rituals and her commenting on the Hindu ritual of ‘Kanya daan’.
The ritual is essentially a handing off of the bride from her parents to the groom and the phrase roughly translates to giving away the girl. Bhatt is seen commenting on this ritual and how in today’s modern age such a regressive stance has no place instead, it should be replaced with ‘Kanya Maan,’ which means respecting the daughter and not donating her like some object.
The hashtag #BoycottManyavar trended heavily on Twitter with the ad getting bashed a lot.
5. Ceat Tyres ad
Aamir Khan was not safe from this either when people took offence to a Ceat tyre ad that he had done. In the advertisement, he is shown advising people to not burst crackers as it can harm vehicle tyres and more.
A Karnataka-based MP, Anantkumar Hegde, chose to reach out to the company’s MD and CEO Anant Vardhan Goenka. Addressing a letter to him he questioned why only crackers were being targetted when people offering Namaaz on roads could also cause blockage. He stated in his letter that “respect the Hindu sentiment and will not hurt it directly or indirectly by any means”.
One has to ask where does it end. Will any and all type of creative freedom now be at the mercy of any person or group stating it is hurting their sentiments and powerful people intervening to get it taken down, even if it genuinely doesn’t have anything offensive in it?
Image Credits: Google Images
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This post is tagged under: Dabur Ad, Sabyasachi Mangulsutra Ad, Fabindia Diwali Ad, Manyavar ad, dabur lesbian ad, #BoycottManyavar, Manyavar Mohey ad, Manyavar alia bhatt ad, Manyavar alia bhatt ad controversy, Ceat Tyres ad, aamir khan Ceat Tyres ad, Indian advertisements