Amuls tasteless take on Tehelka

MUMBAI: For a brand as big as Amul, its ads too have come to be an iconic part of the country’s social-scape.


From IPL spot fixing to the allegations of corruption that once swirled around Jagmohan Dalmiya, from Laloo Prasad Yadav’s arrest in the fodder scam to Raj Babbar’s atrocious comments with respect to Rs 12 meals; Amul ads have taken an unflinching stance, driving home the point cheekily, yet responsibly while almost always leaving the reader with a smile.


This time round however, even Amul’s li’l moppet, of the polka dot fame, has been unable to save the day.


The latest ad – a take on the Tehelka scandal – shows a Tarun Tejpal-like figure being pecked by crows (incidentally the crow is Tehelka’s mascot) while sitting on a stool inside what looks like an elevator, while the Amul girl stands outside with her bread and butter sandwich. The tagline reads: “Kya Se Kya Kho Gaya! Tehelka Macha De!”


Tejpal, the editor of Tehelka, who has made a career out of his in-your-face brand of journalism, has been in the news for allegedly sexually assaulting a junior colleague, a friend of his daughter at that, in an elevator at a fest organised by the magazine earlier this month in Goa.


The Amul poster, which takes a very obvious swipe at Tejpal, hasn’t gone down well with people and social media is abuzz with comments trashing the ad for its tastelessness.


Writes columnist and writer Aseem Chhabra: “I find this Amul ad outrageous and offensive! Where is the humor in a rape case?” Tweets The Oddfather @TheOddfather1014h: “Sorry guys, just my personal opinion...I don't think it's very smart or creative using a molestation case in your ad #justsaying”. Posts Vijay @ohVijayJoshi3h wrote: “like idiots u came up to make fun of a sensitive topic can u do a fun ad on 26/11 & Arushi as well.. U r selling butter? Pathetic”.


Clearly, the ad hasn’t cut ice with a majority of people unlike its previous ones. Whether they think it trivializes a serious issue or is just not witty enough or whether rape is a matter that just doesn’t lend itself to jokes; one can’t really point out.


All said, adman Rahul Dacunha, the man behind all those witty Amul posters since 1993 is disappointed with people’s reaction.   “Am disappointed that you see this as a joke - it's a satirical comment about the fall from grace of a man,” he tweeted.


Ironically, Dacunha is the same guy who, in a column in Tehelka on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of Amul in 2009 wrote: “Today is Tuesday morning. Actor Shiney Ahuja makes the headlines – he may have just raped his maid. The question before the Amul creative team at Dacunha Communications is: Should Amul walk away or comment? And if we do, what angle do we take? What tone of voice? This is the dilemma we often face with Amul.”


If this is what Dacunha thought four years ago, we wonder what made him change his mind this time round...

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