The ad, featuring Hema Malini and her daughter Esha Deol as campaigners, drew heavy criticism on social media.
After facing flak on social media, Mahesh Gupta, chairman of Kent RO Systems Ltd on Wednesday apologised for the controversial ‘Atta and Bread Maker’ advertisement that portrayed housemaids in bad light by depicting them as infection carriers.
In the advertisement, the Noida-based firm cautioned against kneading of flour to make dough by a maid claiming that “her hands might be infected” and suggested using the company’s product for the same purpose. The ad, featuring Hema Malini and her daughter Esha Deol as campaigners, drew a lot of flak from people on social media as multiple users on Twitter bashed the ad and reported it to the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) for being insensitive towards the domestic helps who are already facing discrimination from housing societies across the country. The ads have been taken down from company’s social media handles including Instagram.
“Our recent advertisement of Kent Atta and Bread Maker on social media was unintentional, badly communicated and was wrong. And therefore, it was immediately withdrawn. We are extremely sorry for this incident and want to apologise to everyone, especially to the people whose sentiments were hurt,” Kent RO Systems chairman and managing director Mahesh Gupta said in a statement.
The advertisement is contrary to the beliefs and professional standards of Kent, he added.
“We will investigate how our advertisement standards were compromised and we will further take corrective and preventive action so that such incidents are not repeated in future,” Gupta said adding that “we support and respect all sections of the society and apologise for the mistake”.
Kent is one of the leading players in the RO Water Purifier category and has expanded to several product categories such as air purifiers, water softeners, cooking appliances and vacuum cleaners.