Mumbai: Top advertising trade bodies AAAI (Advertising Agencies Association Of India) and TAC (The Advertising Club) united with India Chapter of IAA (International Advertising Association) to voice against the forces that are threatening and targeting of ‘Tanishq’ and its employees in regards to their latest advertisement on the new jewellery line. The consensus among all allied bodies
Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) in its statement disapproved the targeting of the recent Tanishq ad featuring an inter-faith couple.
AAAI statement added, “The threats against Tanishq as well as its employees, which led to the withdrawal of the advertisement, are a matter of great regret and concern.
“The advertisement in question, in fact, had been viewed at the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) by an independent panel- The Consumer Complaints Council, which is representative of multiple stakeholders from industry, civil society, lawyers and consumer activists. The panel found nothing in the advertisement that was indecent or objectionable or repulsive that could lead to grave and widespread offence.”
The India Chapter of the International Advertising Association (IAA) strongly reiterated the need to strengthen and safeguard the fundamental right to express and receive commercial expression as guaranteed in Section 19 (1) (A) of the Constitution of India.
Statement from IAA India Chapter added, “Any attempt to stifle this should be condemned in the strongest of terms.
The IAA has always stood for freedom of commercial speech and expression, self-regulation and gender-parity. Our many meaningful initiatives in these areas stand testimony to that commitment. The marcom industry has always used its creative depth to create messages that promote amity, peace and harmony in every area of life and work. . The events which led to the recent Tanishq advertisement being pulled back are very unfortunate. While we respect the opinion of every individual on subjective matters, these should not descend to illegal threats and anti-social behaviour.
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 and contribute to economic resurgence of the country.”
The Advertising Club on behalf of the Indian Media and Advertising industry strongly condemned the threatening and targeting of ‘Tanishq’ and its employees in regards to their latest advertisement on the new jewellery line.
TAC statement added, “After review by our internal team consisting of multi-sectoral experts we have come to a clear consensus that the advertisement breaks no ethical standards, is not derogatory to any person, organization or religion and does not hurt any national sentiment.
In continuance with its tradition, The Advertising Club upholds the primacy of creative freedom as a fundamental right of the Marketing and Advertising fraternity and hence disapprove of the approach to stymie that freedom. Our industry allied bodies of IAA and AAAI endorse our view that such baseless and irrelevant attack on creative expression is extremely concerning and we together stand by the team at Tanishq and against such aggression.”
In addition to the advertising bodies, corporate leaders and celebrities also voiced their support in favor of Tanishq.
The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) stated that the advertisement in question was viewed at ASCI by an independent multi-stakeholder panel- The Consumer Complaints Council, which balances viewpoints from industry, civil society, lawyers, consumer activists as well as domain experts. This panel was unanimous that nothing in the advertisement was indecent or vulgar or repulsive, which is likely in the light of generally prevailing standards of decency and propriety, to cause grave and widespread offence. The complaint was not upheld, as the advertisement did not violate the ASCI codes of honesty, truthfulness and decency in advertising. Therefore ASCI has no objection to the airing of this advertisement, should the advertiser choose to do so.
However, statement on behalf of the Tanishq Spokesperson regarding the Ekatvam campaign stated, “The idea behind the Ekatvam campaign is to celebrate the coming together of people from different walks of life, local communities and families during these challenging times and celebrate the beauty of oneness. This film has stimulated divergent and severe reactions, contrary to its very objective.
We are deeply saddened with the inadvertent stirring of emotions and withdraw this film keeping in mind the hurt sentiments and well-being of our employees, partners and store staff.”