Gujrat: “Aa Navratrie ramo parantu prem thi (This Navratri, play, but with love),” Controversy begins from here.
After receiving much criticism for its campaign’s reference to the Navratri festival, Mankind Pharma has taken down almost 500 hoardings promoting its condoms across Gujarat.
“The Navratri hoardings campaign was not meant to hurt anyone’s sentiments and was immediately withdrawn. We deeply regret any such incident,“ the company, reported after withdrawing the advertisement featuring actor Sunny Leone.
The Confederation Of All India Traders had urged the Union information and broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani to formulate a code of conduct for brand ambassadors with stringent penal provisions against irresponsible endorsements.
Citing the example of Manforce Condoms’ advertisement, it claimed that the company had tried “to ride piggyback on the festive sentiment of Navratri to sell its product.”
Failing to counter the protests, Mankind took down the hoardings even though surveys have shown that condom sales do go up 25-50% during Garba season while Navaratri is in full swing in Gujarat. Oral contraceptive sales go even higher.
Following several complaints, the Surat police took down hoardings under its jurisdiction. “We have brought such hoardings down, as the advertisement was of condoms and it should not be linked up with the religious festivals and even the photo of Sunny Leone was semi-nude,” Surat Commissioner of Police Satish Sharma told to media.