Television

Kalyan Jewellers withdraws ad featuring Amitabh Bachchan

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MUMBAI: Kerala-based jewellery chain, Kalyan Jewellers, has withdrawn its controversial TVC featuring Amitabh Bachchan and his daughter. The advertisement came under attack from a bank union for allegedly depicting banks in a negative light.

The union had termed the ad as “disgusting” which aimed at creating distrust in the banking system.

The jewellery group on Sunday issued a statement, that the ad will be removed from all media with immediate effect.

The statement by Kalyan Jewellers executive director Ramesh Kalyanaraman reads: “We sincerely regret the inadvertent hurt caused and withdraw the advertisement from all media with immediate effect. We understand that the advertisement has hurt sentiments of some people including members of our esteemed banking community. Any such hurtful interpretation being drawn is unintended. We state that the creative advertisement was a work of fiction and not a reflection of banking employees at large.”

The jewellery brand had earlier written a letter to the general secretary of the bank union to state that the company will put a statutory warning stating that all character and incidents are fictional.

“Please accept our unconditional disclaimer for the same. We shall, within three working days from today, add ‘characters and situations depicted are fictional. The brand does not intend to disrespect or malign any person or community’ before the advertisement,” read the statement. 

In the ad, Bachchan, depicted as a person with integrity and honesty, is seen visiting a bank branch along with his daughter to return the extra money credited in his pension account and his bitter encounter with bank employees in the process. 

The controversial ad sparked an outrage among the banking community after All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC) general secretary Soumya Datta alleged that the theme, tone and tenor of the ad were “disgusting, derogatory, to say the least and is aimed to create distrust in the banking system, for pure commercial gain.”

The union had threatened to sue Kalyan Jewellers accusing it of casting aspersion and hurting the sentiments of millions of personnel through the advertisement. Kalyan Jewellers rejected the allegation, saying it was pure fiction.

This is the second time that Big B has faced the heat for an advertisement, the first one was the Horlicks ad campaign “Mission Poshan”. The 75-year-old actor found himself at the centre of a controversy after several public health experts wrote to him asking to end his association with the brand. The experts believed that the campaign is disingenuous and flouted the optimal nutrition norms.

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