Malabar Gold & Diamond is still under the weather due to an advertisement/promotion it ran on Pakistan’s Independence Day.
The post was taken down as people started discussing the advertisement and protesting against it. The controversial advertisement got close to 1 million likes and asked the consumers to “participate in the Pakistan’s Independence Day Quiz with Malabar Gold and Diamonds and you could win some exciting gift vouchers”.
Pakistan Independence Day Quiz was held from August 7 to 14 and was probably meant for the Pakistani audience in other parts of the world, however, it soon landed itself in a controversy.
The Kozhikode-based Malabar Gold & Diamond taken aback by the online protests later issued a statement which read:
“For the past few days some misleading news has spread on social media regarding a specific campaign on the Malabar Gold & Diamonds Facebook page. We thank you for bringing this to our attention.
As a responsible Indian business organisation, we the Malabar Group’s management team have the duty to share the official explanation of our company on this subject for your kind understanding.
Malabar Gold & Diamonds has always taken pride in its Indian legacy and has drawn motivation from the great jewellery tradition of our country. As a jewellery retailer with strong presence outside India, and with thousands of customers from different nations and cultures around the world; we have been successful in creating great interest for Indian jewellery abroad.
As a part of the marketing initiatives in countries where we operate outside India, we organise activities and events to show fraternity and solidarity to our foreign customers. These include activations for National days of various countries in GCC, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, etc.
In fact, many international business organisations who operate globally or in the Middle-East have run campaigns celebrating national days of their respective customers as part of their business strategy. You will find references to these on leading online and print media.
During this year’s Pakistani Independence Day as well, various global brands have organized different campaigns and provided offers for their Pakistani customers. A similar marketing campaign was initiated by one of our digital agency in the Gulf as a quiz program on Pakistan’s Independence. The agency organised this campaign with good intentions to reach out to our Pakistani customers in the Gulf countries.
Upon being alerted by our customers and well wishers, the corporate marketing department and senior corporate management took the decision to withdraw the campaign immediately.
We would like to inform you all that, it was not at all deliberate from our side to hurt anybody’s feelings with this campaign. The management and entire team of Malabar Gold & Diamonds expresses our heartfelt regret to our friends and customers for the pain unintentionally caused by this matter. We will take every effort to ensure that such an incident does not recur in future.”
Malabar Gold & Diamond still in trouble?
However, despite its clarification, Malabar Gold & Diamond is not being allowed to get off the hook by the activists who say that it was its pro-Pakistan stance.
— HaindavaKeralam (@HKupdate) August 16, 2016
Many feel that India-Pakistan are not exactly on friendly terms, therefore, the ad was indeed offensive.
— Balagopal (@balagopalks) August 15, 2016
Hindu Help Line workers protested against Malabar Gold & Diamond in Kochi while asking people to boycott the outlet.
— Lekshmi Kanath (@LKanath) August 16, 2016
They also burned down Pakistani flag in protest. But some support has also poured in:
Malabar gold did a quiz on pakistan independence day. They have showrooms in gulf & possibly pak customers too. Why make a big fuss over it?
— kiduva (@kiduva) August 15, 2016
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