July- Tall talk

Kent Atta Maker – Insensitive advertising

In bad taste

Kent Atta Maker advertisement featuring celebrity actress Hema Malini asked consumers – “Are you allowing your maid to knead atta dough by hand?” It went on to say “Her hands may be infected. Now don’t compromise on health and purity. Bring home Atta maker and Bread maker.”  Viewers found the ad insensitive, classist and offensive and vented their ire extensively against the advertiser on social media.

In response, the company withdrew the ad and the chairman of Kent RO Systems Ltd. apologised for the advt that insinuated that domestic helps could be carriers of the Coronavirus. He said that it was unintentional, badly communicated and was wrong and therefore withdrawn.

Several people reported it to the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) for being insensitive towards domestic help, who are already facing discrimination from housing societies across the country. ASCI said it had received complaints but since the advt on social media was not available, complaints have not been processed. Experts believe the campaign is not just in poor taste but may instigate discriminatory behaviour towards domestic help. They noted that brands needed to take precautions to not seem insensitive or opportunistic in their communication.


Don’t be offensive


Arihant Mattresses – Unproven anticorona claims

Healthy sleeping!


Imagine if the simplest way to fight Corona was to sleep comfortably on a mattress. An opportunist company based in Mumbai, Arihant Mattresses, tried to cash in on the situation by promoting this mattress as an ‘anti-corona virus’ mattress. The tagline of the advertisement which was published in a regional newspaper said “Anti Corona Virus Mattress pe soyega India toh badhega India (India will progress if it sleeps on this anti-corona virus mattress)”.  Soon the internet was abuzz with netizens reacting to the unbelievable claim being made.

Reacting to this advt, ASCI said that the advertiser had immediately agreed to withdraw the claims. Meanwhile an FIR against the proprietor of Arihant Mattresses has been registered in Bhiwandi based on a complaint received from the local Primary Healthcare Centre.


Time to wake-up

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