Facing severe backlash, designer brand Sabyasachi on Sunday, October 31, withdrew its Mangalsutra campaign and said it was "deeply saddened" that the advertisement offended a section of the society. 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. "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," Sabyasachi in a post on Instagram.
After pictures of the advertisement were posted on Instagram, there was a huge controversy with a section of social media users terming them as against Hindu culture and obscene. Hashtags such as #Sabyasachi_Insults_
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 If this objectionable and obscene advertisement is not withdrawn, then a case will be registered against him and legal action will be taken.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.