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Advertising industry bodies back Tanishq ad, say “baseless and irrelevant attack on creative expression”

Tanishq on Tuesday withdrew its campaign showcasing wedding jewellery after a backlash on Twitter, with a section of people alleging that the ad promoted ‘love jihad’

The advertising industry bodies Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI), The Advertising Club, Internation Advertising Association and Advertising Standards Council of India have come together to support Tanishq over the trolling against the brand for a piece of advertising.

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Tanishq on Tuesday withdrew its campaign showcasing wedding jewellery after a backlash on Twitter, with a section of people alleging that the ad promoted ‘love jihad’.

AAAI in a statement said it disapproves the targeting of the recent Tanishq ad featuring an inter-faith couple. “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 AAA of I added.

The Advertising Club on behalf of the Indian Media and Advertising industry said it strongly condemns the threatening and targeting of 'Tanishq' and its employees in regards to their latest advertisement on the new jewellery line. “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 said, it upholds the primacy of creative freedom as a fundamental right of the Marketing and Advertising fraternity and hence disapproves 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,” The Advertising Club said.

The advertising industry’s self-regulatory body ASCI had received a complaint against the Tanishq advertisement, stating it to be objectionable since it promoted communal intermingling.

The advertisement in question was viewed at ASCI by an independent multi-stakeholder panel - The Consumer Complaints Council, which balances view points 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,” ASCI said.

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