The Kalyan Jewellers’ ad featuring Amitabh Bachchan and daughter Shweta Bachchan Nanda has earned wrath from bank workers. The minute-and-a-half long ad, which features Manju Warrior as Bachchan’s daughter in its Malayalam version, presumes all bank workers as insincere, rude and lazy.

It shows Bachchan as an honest pensioner willing to return the extra 5000 rupees he has received as his pension. The bank staffers, on the other hand, are shown to be apathetic, shunting work from one counter to another. At one point the manager even asks Bachchan’s character to scarf down the extra money, because no one will come to know.

SOME TAKEAWAYS

  • Kalyan Jewellers’ new ad featuring Amitabh Bachchan and his daughter Shweta Bachchan Nanda is under fire from bank workers across India.
  • The ad shows bank employees to be rude, apathetic and insincere.
  • While the company denies any stereotyping of bank workers, it does portray them in a bad light.

As per a report in The Hindustan Times, All India Bank Officers’ Confederation, an organisation claiming to have a membership of around 3,20,000 officers has threatened to sue the jewellery makers for “casting aspersion and hurting the sentiments of millions of personnel” via wrongful portrayal.

It is not hard to understand the Union’s unhappiness with this ad. Nowhere close to promoting jewellery, it seems hell-bent on holding good virtues by falsely generalising attitude of millions of bank employees in India.

This, however, isn’t the first time the service class in India has become the target of generalisations. Be it, doctors or bankers, the middle-class servicemen /women have always been subjected to stereotyping. The doctors are always after your money. The bankers don’t care about the elderly. Post office workers derive sadistic pleasure from delaying your letters. The teachers only want to complain about your child’s performance.

There are good people and bad people. But it is impossible that the entire staff of a branch could be so rude and unhelpful. The jewellery company have rejected the allegations of stereotyping, saying that at no point they have intended to generalize the bank officers at large.

We know how impactful advertisements can be. Especially the ones which play with sentiments and are themed on the plight of those in distress.

It indeed leaves a poor impression when you see bankers talking harshly to senior citizens or keeping them running in circles around the office. Such stereotyping indeed creates a mindset of distrust and dissatisfaction among common population. Considering that these people are an inseparable part of our lives, how can we have a healthy relationship with them, if our judgement is shrouded in mistrust and negative imagery?

The advertisers need to either put a disclaimer before the ad or retract it. The ad doesn’t do anything to make people queue outside their jewellery stores anyway. So there seems no point to keep it running when it hurts the sentiments of so many hard-working people.

Photo Credit: indianexpress.com

Also Read : Advertisements: How Some Manipulate Choices and Should be Ignored

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.

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