Ogilvy & Mather India has been in the midst of a controversy over a campaign that has been alleged to be in bad taste by the global media.
The said campaign themed ‘Bounce Back’ for mattress brand Kurl-On, was uploaded on popular creative site adsoftheworld.com and subsequently pulled down.
One in the series of three print ads features a cartoon of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban but ‘bounced back’ to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. The others in the series feature Steve Jobs and Mahatma Gandhi ‘bouncing back’.
The agency issued a statement a few days prior expressing regret and apologising to Yousafzai’s family.
Speaking with Campaign India, Piyush Pandey, executive chairman and creative director – South Asia, Ogilvy & Mather India, rubbished allegations that the ad was ‘scam’.
He said, “We have been wooing this client for a long time. When this campaign came up, he loved it and said he wanted to run it, also in international markets. The intention behind the campaign is very correct – ‘Bouncing back’ is perfect as a theme for a spring mattress. But I think they went overboard in the connection. I think that was tenuous.”
On the ad attracting criticism from all across, he said, “If it has hurt people’s sensibilities, it should be regretted. That’s what we have done.”
Also read: Ogilvy & Mather says sorry for Malala ad