By Arré Bench Oct. 13, 2020
Even as Tanishq takes down its latest ad, one couldn’t help comparing the jewellery brand’s reaction to hateful trolls with recent statements from brands like Parle G and Bajaj Auto. Clearly some advertisers show more spine than others.
The social media boycott crew has been in full swing over the last few months, targeting any film or ad that disagrees with its worldview. As a fallout of this campaign, jewellery brand Tanishq was forced to take down its recent advertisement that celebrated an interfaith couple, after trolls called it an attempt at promoting “love jihad”.
It's really sad to watch what kind of country we are turning into. An ad uniting two religions has to be taken down in the country which used to be called secular since forever.🤦🏻♀️#tanishq pic.twitter.com/8E7UDl7PeH
— Nilesh Chhanga (@ChhangaNilesh) October 13, 2020
Tanishq jewellery's 'Ekatvam' series' ad projects a fictional 'interfaith' union, a Muslim family, a Hindu daughter-in-law being allowed to do a Hindu ritual.
— Sanjay Dixit ಸಂಜಯ್ ದೀಕ್ಷಿತ್ संजय दीक्षित (@Sanjay_Dixit) October 12, 2020
Even as “boycott Tanishq” topped the Twitter trends on Monday, however, the brand did also receive a lot of support from various quarters, who condemned the hate-filled posts that pushed the calls for boycott. The advertisement itself, showed a Hindu woman being welcomed into a supportive Muslim family.
Among the supporters were prominent figures like Congressmen Shashi Tharoor and Abhishek Singhvi, who called out Hindutva bigots for pushing the trend. But on Tuesday, it would seem the other side had won, after Tanishq pulled down the ad film from its YouTube channel, much to the dismay of its supporters.
So Hindutva bigots have called for a boycott of @TanishqJewelry for highlighting Hindu-Muslim unity through this beautiful ad. If Hindu-Muslim “ekatvam” irks them so much, why don’t they boycott the longest surviving symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity in the world — India? pic.twitter.com/cV0LpWzjda
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) October 13, 2020
Even as this saga was unfolding, however, one couldn’t help and compare Tanishq’s reaction to a couple of other brands that have been making news in the last few days.
In what seemed to be a strong stand against the aggressive content that’s being pushed on our news channels in the last few weeks, Parle Products and Bajaj Auto have both indicated that they will be withdrawing their patronage from channels that are involved in the alleged TRP scam or are toxic in nature.
— newslaundry (@newslaundry) October 12, 2020
While a senior official from Parle has indicated that the company is in talks with other advertisers to put up a collective front, industrialist Rajiv Bajaj has said that Bajaj Auto was in the process of blacklisting three channels already. In response, both companies were hailed as the most socially responsible brands on Twitter.
Parle Products, the maker of #ParleG biscuits, said the company will not advertise on news channels that broadcast toxic content.
Rajiv Bajaj of @bajaj_ltd has blacklisted 3 channels for advertising.
— Einstein 🇮🇳 (@DesiPoliticks) October 11, 2020
— Sayema (@_sayema) October 11, 2020
Financing #Fakenews, hatchet jobs, sleaze, toxic content.
Funding hate, intolerance, daily provocations and incitements.
Not the brand association any company/product can afford to have!
— Rakesh Sharma (@rakeshfilm) October 11, 2020
It’s a known fact in our country that any content put out by advertisers is bound to be met with some hate online. A recent article listed out all the brands that have been targeted for their attempts to portray Hindu-Muslim unity in the last few years, including names like Close Up, Brooke Bond, and Surf Excel. Even though the content of each film differs, each one happened to be faced with a barrage of bigoted trolls.
As Tanishq faces the same fate as the brands above, it’s clear now that our country is witnessing a tale of two advertisers — one that capitulates to the hate and another that stands up to it. We’re lucky to still have a few that are willing to show some spine.