AAAI, IAA and The Ad Club have all released statements on the issue around the Tanishq ad, showing displeasure at the turn of the events.
The Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI), has in a statement, disapproved the targeting of the recent Tanishq ad featuring an inter-faith couple. After drawing significant flak, the advertisement was taken down by the brand to ensure the safety of its staff.
“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,” the brand’s statement had read.
In solidarity with Tanishq, AAAI 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 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,” said The India Chapter of the International Advertising Association (IAA) in a press statement.
They added, “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 the economic resurgence of the country.”
The Advertising Club’s statement reads, “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.”
The advertisement in question has also 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.