The India Chapter of the International Advertising Association has urged the concerned Government departments to take note of the intimidating behaviour of individuals with respect to advertising.
The IAA wants businesses to have a safe environment to communicate their brand advertising messages and contribute to economic resurgence of the country.
A statement from the body suggested that there is a need to strengthen and safeguard the fundamental right to express and receive commercial expression as guaranteed in Section 19 (1) (A) of the Constitution of India.
It adds, "Any attempt to stifle this should be condemned in the strongest of terms. The IAA has always stood for freedom of commercial speech and expression, self-regulation and gender-parity. The events which led to the recent Tanishq advertisement being pulled back are very unfortunate. While we respect the opinion of every individual on subjective matters, these should not descend to illegal threats and anti-social behaviour. We appeal to the concerned Governments to take a serious view of such intimidating behaviour and take exemplary action where required to ensure that businesses are provided a safe environment to communicate their brand advertising messages and contribute to economic resurgence of the country."
A note from the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) has also followed that states that it disapproves the targeting of the recent Tanishq ad featuring an inter-faith couple.
The statement added, "The threats against Tanishq as well as its employees, which led to the withdrawal of the advertisement, are a matter of great regret and concern.The advertisement in question, in fact, had been viewed at the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) by an independent panel- The Consumer Complaints Council, which is representative of multiple stakeholders from industry, civil society, lawyers and consumer activists. The panel found nothing in the advertisement that was indecent or objectionable or repulsive that could lead to grave and widespread offence."