Campaign India Team
Feb 07, 2024

Merck's Indian subsidiary ends ties with Schbang post Poonam Pandey video (updated)

States that the contract has been terminated due to a 'conflict of interest'

Merck's Indian subsidiary ends ties with Schbang post Poonam Pandey video (updated)
MSD, the Indian arm of US-based Merck, has announced that it has ended ties with Schbang, following its involvement in the campaign for the prevention of cervical cancer featuring Poonam Pandey.
MSD has terminated its contract with Schbang due to a conflict of interest and stated that the company had nothing to do with the above-said campaign.
MSD, a client of Schbang, sells Gardasil, a vaccine that helps prevent cervical cancer. 
The campaign featuring Pandey, which included faking her death due to the disease, was conceptualised by Schbang for the media outlet Hauterfly. 

Campaign India, reached out to MSD on the issue at hand.


They said, "MSD would like to categorically state that the recent public relations activity on cervical cancer carried out by Poonam Pandey and digital marketing agency Schbang was neither initiated with MSD’s endorsements nor made with the knowledge of MSD. We are of the view that this activity was grossly irresponsible and distasteful and goes against our company’s values of ethics and integrity. Upon becoming aware of the involvement of Schbang, we had taken immediate actions to terminate our service contract with the agency with all rights reserved. Regarding the aforementioned public relations activities, MSD is of the view that as disease awareness is important for prevention and protection of people against certain HPV-related cancers and diseases, such messages must be always scientifically and medically accurate whilst delivered in an appropriate manner." 

(We have approached Schbang for a statement. The story shall be updated with a response.)
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