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Industry bodies like ASCI, AAAI, IAA have come forward to support Tanishq and its right to express and receive commerci...
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Nothing in the Tanishq ad was indecent, vulgar or repulsive: ASCI

Industry bodies like ASCI, AAAI, IAA have come forward to support Tanishq and its right to express and receive commerci...
  • Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) also received a complaint against the Tanishq advertisement, stating that it promoted communal intermingling.
  • The industry body has, however, dismissed the consumer complaint.
Tanishq launched a campaign ‘Ekatvam’, which showed the baby shower of a Hindu woman married to a Muslim man. The ad, if anything, celebrated inclusivity by showcasing an inter-faith marriage. The ad however, did not go down well with a lot of people. The ad was trolled by people who said it normalized ‘Love jihad’. The brand, to the disappointment of a lot of people, succumbed to this social media trolling and removed it from all its social media handles.

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) also received a complaint against the Tanishq advertisement, stating it to be objectionable since it promoted communal intermingling and the industry body has dismissed the complaints.

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.

The India Chapter of the International Advertising Association (IAA) appealed to the concerned Governments to take a serious view of such intimidating behaviour. It said that any attempt to stifle with the fundamental
right to express and receive commercial expression as guaranteed in Section 19 (1) (A) of the Constitution of India, should be condemned in the strongest of terms.

IAA spokesperson said, "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.

Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) also disapproved the targeting of the recent Tanishq ad featuring an inter-faith couple.

In a statement released to the press, The association said, " 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. There is a consensus among all allied bodies and The International Advertising Association (IAA) India Chapter and The Advertising Club also support this."

Tanishq had also issued an apology and pulled down its ad after its employees received several threats.

“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,” said Tanishq Spokesperson.