Dabur has become the latest brand to withdraw an advertisement after facing online abuse and veiled threats from BJP leaders. Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam
Mishra threatened the company with legal action over the ad, which displayed a lesbian couple celebrating the Hindu festival
Karwa Chauth. The ad, which showed equality, a progressive view of marriage and
celebrated inclusivity, was met with mixed reactions on social media.
Narrotam Mishra spoke
to reporters on Monday and said, “It
is a serious matter. Why clippings and advertisements are posted hurting the
sentiments related to the Hindu festivals.”
He added “Today, they are showing two
women celebrating Karva Chauth. Tomorrow, they will come up with an
advertisement that shows two men getting married. We object to it,”
Mishra also threatened the company by warning them that legal action
would be taken if they do not withdraw the advertisement.
Dabur is one of the biggest ‘Made in India’ brands and a global leader
in the fields of Ayurveda and herbal products. On Monday, the company released
a statement on Twitter announcing, ‘Fem’s Karwachauth campaign has been
withdrawn from all social media handles and we unconditionally apologise for
unintentionally hurting people’s sentiments.’
In the ad, two women were seen facing each other and conversing with
each other about the importance of Karwa Chauth and the reason behind celebrating
It is followed by a scene shot at night which showed the two women
facing each other and performing the rituals of Karwa Chauth, implying that the
two were a couple. The ad ended with a Fem logo appearing on the screen while a
voiceover says ‘glow with pride’.
This is not the first time that an advert has had to face rude comments.
Big brands including Manyavar, clothing brand Fabindia, tyre manufacturers Ceat
Ltd and jewellery brand Tanishq faced backlash from BJP leaders for different
reasons. Most brands succumbed under pressure and deleted their ad campaigns.