The Amul Butter Girl will speak her mind: RS Sodhi

Forum Gandhi Mumbai | Updated on June 07, 2020

From Amul’s Twitter handle   -  From Amul’s Twitter handle

Twitter blinks as move to block Amul’s handle sparks outrage

Expressing surprise after Twitter ‘blocked’ Amul’s handle for a short while, RS Sodhi, Managing Director of the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation, said that the Amul Butter girl could not be censored. “The Amul Butter Girl has and will comment on the mood of the nation. She doesn’t fear or favour anyone. If the nation feels about something, she will speak about it, whether it is political, national or global,” Sodhi told BusinessLine.

Amul’s Twitter account @Amul_Corp was blocked briefly on Thursday. While Twitter termed it a technical glitch, many saw it as a response to an ad campaign headlined ‘Exit the dragon?’ where Amul’s iconic girl is seen stopping a dragon carrying a ‘Made in China’ placard. The picture mentions TikTok, a Chinese short video platform, and the tagline is : ‘Amul, Made In India’.

The account was reactivated after outraged followers backed the company. Hashtags #Amul, and #Exit The Dragon, and #Boycott Twitter trended over Friday and Saturday.

According to Twitter sources, the action was strictly aimed at the safety and security of the account and not related to the content published. “The account was never suspended, and only restricted access (was given) till the required verification process was completed,” a source said.

“Safety and security of the accounts is a key priority for us and to ensure an account has not been compromised sometimes we require the account owner to complete a simple reCAPTCHA process,” said a Twitter spokesperson. “These challenges are simple for authentic account owners to solve, but difficult (or costly) for spammy or malicious account owners to complete. Once the account clears this security step the account regains full access. To protect the accounts we routinely require them to clear this security key for login verification.”

Sodhi, however, said: “We’ve been on the site for so long, we’ve never faced a technical glitch of this sort earlier, I find it rather surprising.”

According to Lloyd Mathias, business strategist and former Asia marketing head of HP, the move by Twitter was an overreaction. “A private message to Amul stating that a potentially xenophobic tweet is avoidable would have been a better way to handle it. Having said which, I think this creative wasn’t as subtle and witty as what Amul is capable off. Reaffirming a brand’s nationalistic credentials is nice, but riding on hate rhetoric is not the best way.”

Rahul Da Cunha, who has been working on Amul girl campaigns for 29 years, said: “The Amul girl has been the voice of a democratic country, it’s been the cheerleader that this country needs.”

Published on June 07, 2020

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