Kent RO withdraws ad that sparked outrage

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on May 28, 2020

Brand Ambassador Hema Malini says ad does not resonate with her values

Home appliance brand Kent RO Systems, which recently came under fire for a “digital ad, on Wednesday said that it has withdrawn the ad and will take “corrective and preventive” action.

Social media users criticized the company’s ad for Kent Atta & Bread Maker, featuring its brand ambassador Hema Malini , for being discriminatory and derogatory towards domestic workers.

The ad stated, “Are you allowing your maid to knead the atta dough by hand? Her hands may be infected.”

Complaints against the brand were also lodged with the Advertising Standards Council of India. This prompted the brand to apologize and withdraw the advertisement.

Public apology issued

In a statement, Mahesh Gupta, Chairman and Managing Director, Kent RO System Pvt Ltd said, “The advertisement is contrary to the beliefs and professional standards of Kent. We will investigate how our advertisement standards were compromised, and we will further take corrective and preventive action so that such incidents are not repeated in the future.”

“We once again re-iterate that we support all and respect all sections of the society and apologise for the mistake,” the statement added.

Actor and BJP MP Hema Malini tweeted on Wednesday evening, “Views expressed by the recent advertisement of Kent Atta by @KentROSystems do not resonate with my values and are inappropriate, The Chairman has already tendered a public apology for the mistake. I hereby wish to put on record that I respect and stand by all sections of society.”

Hema Malini has been Kent's brand ambassador since 2005. This has been her longest association with a brand. Known for its RO water purifiers, the company has been focusing on diversification into other categories over the past few years such as air-purifiers, kitchen appliances and vacuum cleaners.

Published on May 28, 2020

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