The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on October 2 issued a statement that condemns actor Amitabh Bachchan for a “biased” and “misleading” advertisement for e-commerce platform Flipkart.
The traders’ body, in a strongly-worded letter, said Bachchan’s ad “affects livelihood” and “hurts local businesses”, and that it would approach the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting if the ad is not withdrawn.
While Bachchan is seen in a couple of short ads posted by Flipkart on its YouTube channel, the one that has sparked a row pertained to mobile deals offered by the platform in its upcoming ‘Big Billion Days’ sale.
In the ad which is now unavailable on Flipkart’s YouTube channel, Bachchan was reportedly heard as saying that the mobile deals offered by the e-commerce portal are not available at the retail outlets.
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“This advertisement is unjust, unethical, and misguiding customers solely for your benefits, thereby causing significant harm to the business of local shopkeepers,” CAIT said.
“We sincerely urge you to withdraw the advertisement, as it is unethically and unfairly impacting the livelihood of shopkeepers and misleading consumers across the country. If this concern is not addressed, we will be left with no choice but to seek intervention from the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting through the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) New Delhi,” it added.
Flipkart’s Big Billion Days sale, which is expected to shore up the company’s revenue during the festive season, will begin on October 8 and continue till October 15. In the eight-day sale last year, Flipkart had recorded a 70 percent growth in sales of premium mobile phones.
Before the CAIT marked its objection to Bachchan’s ad, the All India Mobile Retailers Association (AIMRA) slammed the actor for the “misleading” promotion of Flipkart.
The association, which represents 150,000 mobile retailers, asked the leading smartphone brands to issue “issue either a joint or individual statement in prominent news media outlets”, stating that the content of the controversial ad is not accurate.
These advertisements have been influencing the buying behaviour of customers through false and misleading statements, such as the one promoted by Flipkart with the endorsement of the mega star, Mr Amitabh Bachchan, stating, ‘yeh Dukan per nahin milne wala’ (This will not be found in stores),” AIMRA stated in its letter to the smartphone brands.
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Updated: 02 Oct 2023, 05:55 PM IST
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