Tanishq to Amul, The Most Controversial Ads of All Time
Ads that ended up attracting more eyeballs than intended!
Recently, we saw the controversy around Tanishq’s advertisement spread like wildfire on social media. Within hours of the ad's release, the hashtag #BoycottTanishq began trending and by Monday afternoon the YouTube video had garnered more dislikes than likes, leading Tanishq to take down the video.
Throughout the years, there have been several ads that have received backlash. Here's a throwback to some of them:
1. Amul's Call to Boycott Chinese Goods (2020)
The Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation's Twitter account, that owns the Amul brand, was blocked shortly after it posted a cartoon that seemingly called for a boycott of Chinese goods.
The cartoon seemed to endorse Prime Minister Narendra Modi's new 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' strategy as well as a call for a boycott of Chinese goods on Indian social media. In light of this temporary ban, #Amul started trending on Twitter with many users accusing the platform of having a bias against India.
2. Calida's "Not So Sexy" Ad (2008)
The undergarment brand Calida's ad starring Bipasha Basu and Dino Morea saw the latter with his teeth pulling down Bipasha Basu’s underwear. A majority of women organisations protested against the ad and it was banned.
Basu, years later, disclosed that the images were from intimate moments and were not intended to be photographed or even used.
3. Tuff Shoes Ad Deemed Indecent (1995)
Milind Soman and Madhu Sapre were wearing Tuff shoes in the commercial ad and were essentially nude except for a python wrapped around their bodies.
In addition to being deemed obscene, the commercial saw animal rights activists filing a lawsuit for unlawful use of the python under the Wildlife Conservation Act, which in 2009 saw a verdict of not guilty.
4. Zomato Catches Attention The Wrong Way (2017)
In 2017, Zomato had put out an ad campaign that displayed the popular curse words ‘MC BC’ translating them to mac-n-cheese and butter chicken.
People complained that the advertisements were offensive and poor in taste.
5. Meat and Livestock Australia Showcase Lord Ganesha (2017)
In 2017, an Australian ad depicted Lord Ganesha eating a lamb. 'You Never Lamb Alone' was the theme of the commercial, and it wanted to demonstrate that everybody loves to eat lamb regardless of what their religion and belief is.
Although the ad did show a host of other gods, including Jesus, Moses, Aphrodite, Buddha, Zeus, and even Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology, it resulted in offending feelings of the Hindu community and was later banned in India.
6. Zatak Deo Declared as Suggestive by Asci (2012)
This deodorant ad showed women lusting over men who used a particular deo. The Advertising Standards Council of India (Asci) found the ad "indecent, vulgar and suggestive."
The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) was directed to ensure that the adverts were modified or taken off the air.
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