Amitabh Bachchan, Shweta Nanda's recent Kalyan Jewellers commercial receives flak from bank union

The Kalyan Jewellers ad shows Amitabh Bachchan as an old father and Shweta Nanda as his caring daughter who come to the bank only to be treated with disdain

FP Staff July 19, 2018 13:54:34 IST
Amitabh Bachchan, Shweta Nanda's recent Kalyan Jewellers commercial receives flak from bank union

The All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), a body which claims to have a collective membership of almost 3,20,000 officers, has come down heavily on a commercial featuring Amitabh Bachchan and his daughter Shweta Nanda. The ad for a Kerala-based jewellery chain has been termed "disgusting" with AIBOC threatening to sue Kalyan jewellers for “casting aspersion and hurting the sentiments of millions of personnel”.

Soumya Datta, the general secretary of AIBOC, criticised the theme, tone and tenor of the commercial which according to him was defaming the entire banking system for "pure commercial gain", reports News18.com.

Bachchan had tweeted a video of the ad on Wednesday, saying “Emotional moment for me .. tears welling up every time I see it .. daughters are the best!!”

Kalyan Jewellers was quick to reject the allegations stating that the narrative in the ad was fictional. “We understand that your esteemed association feels that the bankers have been portrayed in bad light. We state it on record that it is a pure fiction and at no point we have intended to generalize the bank officers at large,” Kalyan jewellers said in a letter to Datta. “Please accept our unconditional disclaimer for the same. We shall within three working days from today add characters and situations depicted are fictional. The brand does not intend to disrespect or malign any person or community’ before the advertisement,” it added.

The commercial, as reported earlier, portrays Bachchan as an old father and Shewta as his caring daughter. The father-daughter pair, who come to the bank to return the extra pension credited to the father's account, has a bitter experience of being slighted and shoved around from one counter to the next by irritable bank employees. Finally, when the manager suggests that the father should celebrate the happy accident of a double pension, Bachchan's character drops didactic aphorisms of honesty and integrity.

Datta added, “The advertisement portrays banks in bad light, casting aspersion, hurting the sentiment of millions of personnel, stakeholders and is a direct attempt to ruin the trust and confidence of billions of citizenries in banks.” In the process of upholding principles, Bachchan "has made a mockery of the entire bankers’ community in the ad which is deplorable and culpable,” said the statement.

Popular Malayalam actor Manju Warrier acts as Bachchan's daughter in the advertisement’s Malayalam version.

Datta said, “we express our strong resentment against the management of Kalyan Jewellers and Mr Bachchan who have manifested a negative and false image of the Banks in the ad for their personal aggrandisement. We deem it as a case of defamation to all the banks as a whole."

Demanding an unconditional apology from the jewellery group, the AIBOC said if the advertisement was not withdrawn, suitable “organisational action, including dharnas and litigation” would be initiated.

Abraham Shaji John, AIBOC’s Kerala unit secretary, also condemned the advertisement, saying “it has defamed bank employees.”

(With inputs from the Press Trust of India)

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