Sabyasachi withdraws Mangalsutra ad campaign after severe backlash and warning from MP minister

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November 01, 2021 9:25 AM

The popular designer brand has been facing flak on social media platforms as well as from a section of politicians from the ruling BJP over the advertisement deemed as "against Hindu culture" and "obscene".

The popular designer brand has been facing flak on social media platforms as well as from a section of politicians from the ruling BJP over the advertisement deemed as "against Hindu culture" and "obscene".

Adding to the list of retracted ad campaigns in the recent days, designer brand Sabyasachi on Sunday withdrew its Mangalsutra advertisement, saying it was “deeply saddened” that the campaign offended a section of society.

“In the context of making heritage and culture a dynamic conversation, the Mangalsutra campaign aimed to talk about inclusivity and empowerment. The campaign was intended as a celebration and we are deeply saddened that it has instead offended a section of our society. So we at Sabyasachi have decided to withdraw the campaign,” the company said in a statement.

The popular designer brand has been facing flak on social media platforms as well as from a section of politicians from the ruling BJP over the advertisement wherein it had portrayed a woman wearing a low-neckline dress and posing solo and in an intimate position with a man.

The withdrawal also came hours after Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra issued a 24-hour ultimatum to Sabyasachi Mukherjee to withdraw the advertisement which has an “objectionable and obscene” portrayal of mangalsutra or else face statutory action.

The promotional photoshoot features models wearing the mangalsutra while posing solo or in intimate positions with others. In one of the pictures, there is also a female model wearing a black brassiere along with the mangalsutra, resting her head on a shirtless male model.

After the designer shared these pictures, it sparked controversy as a section of social media users deemed it “against Hindu culture” and “obscene”.

Last week, FMCG major and wellness firm Dabur India withdrew its advertisement on the festival of Karva Chauth showing a lesbian couple celebrating in the ad campaign of its Fem Creme bleach and issued an unconditional apology.

Dabur also faced backlash on social media platforms and also from the MP Home Minister, who had also issued an ultimatum against the company, known for its nature-based wellness products.

Talking to reporters at Datia in Madhya Pradesh, Mishra had said, “I have warned earlier about such advertisements. I am personally warning designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee, giving him a 24-hour ultimatum. If this objectionable and obscene advertisement is not withdrawn, then a case will be registered against him and legal action will be taken. The police force will be sent for the action,” Mishra said on Sunday.

Earlier, Tata Group’s jewellery brand Tanishq was forced to withdraw an advertisement that showed an interfaith couple at a baby shower organised for the Hindu bride by her Muslim in-laws.

Clothing brand Manyavar too was at the receiving end when its advertisement featuring Bollywood actor Alia Bhatt in wedding attire, appeared to question an old tradition.

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