Indian healthcare products company Kent RO Systems that features veteran Bollywood actress Hema Malini in advertisements, has been called out for its latest coronavirus preventive poster on social media.
The posters are a part of their Instagram campaign which read as, "Are you allowing your maid to knead atta dough by hand? Her hands may be infected. Don't compromise on health and purity. Choose Kent atta and break maker for hands-free kneading of dough. Let automation take care of hygiene this time."
The screenshots of the advertisement were shared on Twitter, and many social media users panned the company for its choice of words.
One user wrote, "This kind of crappy messaging against domestic helps must come from sick middle class minds, busy baking fantasies during #lockdown2020 People who've not paid April salaries to their helps, won’t also pay May wages."
Another commented, "This is just plain f*****g ridiculous. How did this ad even get made? Did no one put their hand up to object to it before it was put out for public consumption?"
Here are some more reactions.
Mahesh Gupta, founder of Kent RO, roped in Hema Malini as their brand ambassador in 2005. It has been her longest association in the advertisement arena. After facing severe backlash over the now deleted campaign, Gupta in a tweet to the Free Press Journal wrote, "Please accept our sincere apologies for having published the Ad of Kent Atta & Bread Maker. It was unintentional but wrongly communicated and it has been withdrawn. We support and respect all sections of the society."