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Tanishq gives into bigotry again

Khushi Singh

17th November 2020

This is the second time in the month that Tanishq’s advertisement has caused controversy (Source: Star of my store)

India's jewellery giant co-owned by the Tatas has withdrawn another advertisement launched for Diwali. This is the second time in the month that the jewellery brand took down its advertisement after launching it and then facing social media uproar.

The commercial was released as part of the brand's Ekatvam collection for the festive season. It featured Bollywood actors Neena Gupta, Sayani Gupta, Alaya F, and Nimrat Kaur, with one of them talking about their Diwali plans to advocate a ban on firecrackers.

The forty-nine-second digital advertisement, created by the agency—’What's Your Problem’, has been withdrawn from all media platformsYoutube, Twitter, and Facebook. The ad continues to be seen on Instagram.

The call to not burst crackers sparked controversy on Twitter with a segment of users accusing the brand of ‘teaching’ Hindus how to celebrate Diwali and called for people to reject both the ad and the brand.

There was no official statement issued by the brand; however, a company source on anonymity said that the coming four days leading up to Diwali are important for Tanishq in terms of sales. Any unwarranted statement from the brand could lead to unwanted conversations on social media, hampering Dhanteras, and Diwali sales.

"It was not blasphemous for Tanishq to advocate fire cracker-free Diwali since governments of several states of India have already imposed a ban on it this time," says brand consultant Santosh Desai as reported by the Economic Times.

Desai also remarked, "Jewellery is, however, a category that is traditional and related to occasions that are festive and cultural in nature where sensitivity can potentially arise. A category such as biscuits would not be impacted, for instance. While the relationship between sales and social media trolling is tenuous but this is unlikely to have any impact on immediate sales. Long term impact on Tanishq could be negative. Some of its franchises could have reservations. In the long run, it is not healthy for a company to have a pattern of this kind where you put out something, withdraw it, and become a target and get picked on. The brand could get an image that is undeserved, but perception does crystalize."

With the brand pulling down the ad, many social media users were highly cynical about the brand functioningnow given their history of deleting ads. Many on social media questioned why the brand would release advertisements, only to pull it down every time they face threats and criticisms. Tanishq faced outrage at a much larger scale the previous month for an advertisement from the same collection which showed an interfaith couple and was accused of spreading 'Love-Jihad'. It had caused a social media outrage, and the commercial was pulled down. The backlash had intensified to threaten the lives of its employees. A store in Gujarat's Gandhi Dham was coerced into tendering an apology.

(Sources: The Times of India, News18)

Edited by: Tanya Jain, Anjali Dinesh

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