We’re all used to being bombarded with ads for fairness creams. But a fairness cream that promises to fix ‘skin ailments’ such as the colour of your complexion is sure to trigger (mostly angry) conversations on social media.
The recent advertisement by Ramdev’s Patanjali brand that claimed to do this was ripped apart on Twitter recently.
The advertisement also claimed that the cream would boost the confidence of consumers who can enjoy “100% natural beauty”.
According to the ad, the beauty cream:
“Possesses the benefits of wheat germ oil, turmeric, aloe-vera and basil, etc., which are extremely beneficial for skin ailments like dry skin, dark complexion and wrinkles. Patanjali beauty cream is not just another cream but is a skin nourishment tonic and treatment. It gives you the confidence of 100% natural beauty. Try it yourself and suggest to your family and friends.”
At the end of the copy, Patanjali also took an obvious dig at its multi-national corporation competitors with one line: “Products made by MNCs are full of chemicals, while Patanjali products are natural and are cheaper by 25-50 per cent”.
Twitter user who uses the handle @beastoftraal posted an image of the ad along with a tweet criticizing the ad and Ramdev.
No Baba Ramdev... 'dark complexion' is NOT a skin ailment. Did Tarun Vijay write your ad? pic.twitter.com/laHsUVjFGL— Karthik (@beastoftraal) January 8, 2018
“For a brand that almost always starts its advertising by bad-mouthing 'those MNC companies' as looters and calls itself as '100% purity and 100% charity' (the tactic sure seems to be working for them given their spectacular success in the recent past), Patanjali seems to be toeing the line of MNC beauty brands in framing dark skin as a problem.”
This caught the attention of Twitter users and led to a fair amount of outrage against the ad, Patanjali and Ramdev Baba.
Baba RAMDEV.. " DARK COMPLEXION" is not a skin ailment.. U r wrong here pic.twitter.com/Czws8mXrwJ— RANBIR SINGH (@RANBIRS12783119) January 9, 2018
But an unruly and untidy beard definitely looks like an ailment. Does Patanjali has any solutions to that....???— M (@ms290970) January 9, 2018
It should be tested on buffaloes first, as Lala Ramdev used to take a jibe earlier on other MNCs promoting such products.— Rofl Modi (@licensedtodream) January 8, 2018
Ramdev later took to Twitter to clarify that it was a translation error and that he does not support discrimination based on colour.
हमने Skin Complications (त्वचा के विकार), शब्द approve किया था जो translation/copy-writing में ग़लती से बदल गया। मैंने कभी रंग-भेद की बात नहीं की और हमेशा क़ुदरती सौंदर्य को निखारने के आयुर्वेदिक उपाय बताये हैं। कुछ लोग एक शब्द को पकड़ कर विवाद पैदा करने का प्रयास कर रहे हैं https://t.co/au3odkJ6uH— Swami Ramdev (@yogrishiramdev) January 9, 2018
Patanjali has been in the news recently as two of its products were found to be of sub-standard quality by Haridwar’s Ayurveda and Unani office, according to an RTI reply.