Tanishq faced heavy backlash on Twitter on its advertisement on Monday. The ad film showed an inter-communal relationship between two of the most fractioned religions of the country. The advertisement released ahead of the festive season, shows a baby shower being thrown by a Muslim family for their daughter-in-law, who is a Hindu. Towards the end of the video, the young woman points out to her mother-in-law that baby showers are not a tradition in their household. To which the mother-in-law replies: “Isn’t it a tradition for every home to keep daughters happy?”The brand gave into vicious trolls from the Twitterati, where over 19,000 people across the platform voiced for banning the ad and the brand altogether.
Tanishq withdrew its ad the very next day (Tuesday) as it did not want to cause any sentimental harm to any group of people belonging to any community. The Tata group jewellery brand stated that “keeping in mind the hurt sentiments and well-being of our employees, partners and store staff” they took it down. The criticisms and backlashes were however an attack on the idea of plurality and diversity of the nation. In a country where its citizens are grown up reading about secularism, unity, diversity and harmony amongst the different religious groups, this was an act to shame it all. Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said, “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?”
Where the brand was already agonized by the hate it received from social media for releasing the ad, it received just enough repercussion for taking it down. A tweet by Nidhi Razdan read, “Clearly women on twitter have far more spine in dealing with trolls than @TataCompanies @TanishqJewelry. You couldn’t take the heat for even a day and caved into the hate mob. As for the bigots, they can never defeat what India really stands for- plurality and diversity”. People reiterated how giving into such events of trolling only empowers the bigotry bodies further on. In fact, the publicity could have been used to promote the ad on a larger scale without doing much.
However, ad bodies stand up with Tanishq and expressed their deep remorse for the redundant uproar. “The Advertising Club on behalf of the Indian Media and Advertising industry strongly condemns the threatening and targeting of Tanishq and its employees in regards to their latest advertisement on the new jewellery line, “The Advertising Club said in a statement. The Indian chapter of the International Advertising Association described the events that led to the withdrawal of the advertisement as “very unfortunate”, and demanded action from the government against what it called “intimidating behaviour”.
“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 were required to ensure that businesses are provided with a safe environment to communicate their brand advertising messages,” it said