The release of the print ad of Kalyan Jewellers created a furore all over media. The advertisement which recalled timeless beauty, royalty, elegance, and aristocracy had represented the visual in such a manner, which is not acceptable any more in our society. The ad has been claimed as a Racist ad and the former beauty queen Aishwarya Rai Bachchan had to face the wrath and controversy of the media for her involvement and association in such an act.
The idea of the campaign had its visual juxtaposed on a colonial European painting. In the bygone era of European age, showing White aristocracy over dark skinned people as labour (including child) was common. Showing slavery and servitude had a hint of superiority. As the era has gone by, things have changed in our society. Discriminating people on basis of skin colour is a punishable crime and showing child as a labour is another unforgivable offence.
The creative visual of the ad showed a black child holding a big parasol over Aishwarya as a sign of aristocracy. This is unjust to the people and a very unscrupulous way of selling their brand and products to the people. The visual is not at all showing any fantasy or desires around such image of slavery.
Media and social activists have acted up on this ad and objected heavily on the sensitiveness of the people. Social media pages such as Facebook and Twitter have been bombarded with comments and statements objecting the visual of the advertisement.
An open letter was written to Aishwarya for her participation and involvement in the creative profile. Aishwarya, the brand ambassador of this Jewellery brand has been associated and has done many advertisements for them. Though, her publicist Archana Sadanand stated that she had not been involved on the final creative image. It was the call of the agency associated with the brand. People have slammed the idea of the creative and also the brand for permitting such visuals.
Now the total ad campaign has been withdrawn from every media and both the agency and brand have apologised for hurting the sentiments on their Facebook and Twitter page.
Kalyan Jewellers is one of the big retail jewellery brands chain. The brand has been defamed by the activists for putting up such eco-social representation of the society. They have stated that showing black child as a labour is an indecent act and we should fight against it. This ad will create a wrong impression in our society and also in our future generation.
The activists – including Shantha Sinha, former chair of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Harsh Mander, director of Centre for Equity Studies, and Nisha Agrawal, CEO of Oxfam India have acted sternly and also asked Aishwarya to dissociate herself from such brands. They have ensured that the advertisements have been withdrawn from every media.
With the emancipation of the advertisement, many facts and figures have risen as how much child labour exists still and even today millions of children are the victim of trafficking and child labour.