Recently, Sabyasachi revealed its latest line of ‘Intimate Fine Jewellery’. Therefore, for the promotion of the jewelry line, it launched a campaign. The Royal Bengal Mangalsutra was portrayed by models who showed them in intimate positions, wearing brassiere with the Mangalsutra.
The pictures were shared on Sabyasachi’s official page on Instagram. While sharing the promotional photos of the advertisement, Sabyasachi’s official Instagram page captioned, “Introducing the Royal Bengal Mangalsutra 1.2 and the Bengal Tiger Icon collection of necklaces, earrings, bracelets and signet rings in 18k gold with VVS diamonds, black onyx, opals, and black enamel.”
Why is the advertisement facing backlash?
The mangalsutra advertisement was trolled by the netizens. In the advertisement, Sabyasachi’s brand portrayed a woman wearing a low-neckline dress and posing solo. In another picture, she posed in an intimate position with a man. After Sabyasachi Mukherjee shared these pictures online, it started stirring up controversy. A section of social media users felt that the advertisement was against Hindu culture and obscene.
As Mangalsutra is of sheer significance in Hindu society, such a portrayal of the jewelry is not acceptable. However, many believed the campaign seemed more of lingerie than of jewelry.
24-hour Ultimatum by MP
On Sunday, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra issued a 24-hour ultimatum to fashion and jewelry designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee. As a result, he asked him to withdraw the advertisement which he claimed to have an “objectionable and obscene” portrayal of mangalsutra or else face statutory action. In a media interaction, Mishra 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 If this objectionable and obscene advertisement is not withdrawn, then a case will be registered against him and legal action will be taken.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.”
On Instagram, the brand issued its statement. They wrote, “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”
However, in the past few days, other brands have also faced backlash for their digital campaigns. Dabur’s Fem advertisement on Karwachauth and FabIndia’s campaign ‘Jashn-e-Riwaaz were also withdrawn, following the social media outrage. A key takeaway from the whole article would be that brands need to connect with the audience in a way that is inspiring yet rooted in reality.