After ad row, Tanishq store made to put out apology
A Tanishq jewellery store in Gandhidham town in Gujarat’s Kutch district put up a note apologising for a recent advertisement featuring a Muslim woman with a Hindu daughter-in-law, police said on Wednesday.
The police statement came after TV reports said a group of people angry with the advertisement barged into the store and threatened the manager. The store owner and the police, however, denied the reports.
“The store owner told us that he was not threatened. As demanded by some people, he had put up that apology in Gujarati as Tanishq had issued the same in English at the national level. There is no element of threat or attack involved,” said Mayur Patil, superintendent of police, Kutch-East.
The advertisement in question, for Tanishq’s new collection called Ekatvam (which means oneness), showed a Muslim family organising a baby shower for their Hindu daughter-in-law. The Tanishq jewellery brand is a division of the Titan company, promoted by the Tata Group in collaboration with the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation.
Some people had asked the store owner to put up the apology in Gujarati so that more people could understand it, police said. The note condemned the advertisement, which has been withdrawn from all platforms after it received a backlash with #BoycottTanishq trending on social media.
“We apologise to the Hindu community of Kutch on the shameful advertisement of Tanishq,” the handwritten note said.
The note was put up on the store’s door on October 12, and has since been removed, police said. The SP said the showroom had received some threatening calls on October 12 regarding the advertisement after which security was stepped up around the showroom. “But there was no attack,” he said.
Later, a person who purportedly asked the showroom manager to apologise, Ramesh Maitra, said he went to the showroom and his intention was not to hurt anyone’s business.
“Yes, I went there to apprise the showroom people about the feelings of the Hindu samaj (society) of the area and asked them to write an apology for the advertisement. I did not intend to hurt the business of anyone,” he said in a video issued on Wednesday.
Photos of the apology note have since been widely shared on social media.
Advertising bodies came out in support of the advertisement featuring the interfaith family.
“Such baseless and irrelevant attack on creative expression is extremely concerning,” The Advertising Club said on Twitter. “The Advertising Club on behalf of the Indian Media and Advertising industry strongly condemns the threatening and targeting of Tanishq and its employees in regards to their latest advertisement on the new jewellery line.”
The Indian chapter of the International Advertising Association said the events that led to the withdrawal of the advertisement were “very unfortunate”, and demanded action from the government against “intimidating behaviour”.
“While we respect the opinion of every individual on subjective matters, these should not descend to illegal threats and anti-social behavior. We appeal to the concerned governments to take a serious view of such intimidating behaviour and take exemplary action where required to ensure that businesses are provided a safe environment to communicate their brand advertising messages,” the association tweeted.