Bike taxi aggregator Rapido has been restrained by a Hyderabad court from airing its ad film starring Allu Arjun, and also directed YouTube to pull down the ad film in question. The Xth Junior Civil Judge of the City Civil Court, Nampally in Hyderabad on Friday, December 3, restrained Rapido from broadcasting its ad film, which it reportedly said was defamatory to the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC).
The transport corporation had earlier sent a legal notice to Rapido for the advertisement, which featured Tollywood actor Allu Arjun. In the ad, the actor, who plays a dosa seller, can be seen telling audiences that state buses take too long, and that using a Rapido bike is faster and safer. The actor tells a customer that travelling by a crowded public transport bus would mince a commuter who is like a regular dosa into the stuffings of a masala dosa, suggesting that using Rapido is more convenient. The ad was reportedly then modified slightly.
In the ad, however, the actor points to a bus on the Veeravasaram route, a village in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.
As per a release given by the transport corporation, Rapido and its successors, directors, employees, servants, agents, representatives have been restrained from “telecasting, broadcasting, streaming, reproducing, distributing, making available to the public and or communicating to the public the ‘original and modified’ versions of the ad films, on their websites or through the internet in any manner”. The ad was defamatory to TSRTC’s services, it said.
YouTube has also been directed to block the original as well as a modified version of the video.
TSRTC Managing Director VC Sajjanar said that the corporation approached the court for relief as the aggregator continued to air the ads. TSRTC’s counsel told the court that Rapido cannot promote its services while making derogatory statements about TSRTC and public transport.
“Anybody who is found to be flouting the said orders is liable to be prosecuted and advise them to maintain restraint in the light of the court order,” the statement by the MD said.