It is a busy day for the good folks active on Twitter. Three brands are currently facing cancellation, and thousands are taking part in the efforts to make them see the error of their ways. A quick perusal of the Twitter trends on Thursday morning will show you that several words and hashtags including "Harpic", "Zomato", Bingo", Swara" and "Swiggy" occupy places of honour in the Trending tab. Here's what's going on.
Zomato is trending because of recent allegations that it was supporting platforms such as Repubic Bharat by means of advertisements. "Hey @zomatoin @zomato @deepigoyal I’m your regular customer.. do u plan to #DefundTheHate & pull your ads from hate espousing channels like @Republic_Bharat ? I’m not okay with my money even indirectly funding this kind of communal bigoted hate! Pls let your consumers know.." Swara Bhasker had tweeted on Wednesday afternoon.
The company was quick to respond, with the customer service handle assuring that while the company did not "endorse any content except our own", they would be looking into the issue.
While many would agree that this non-committal response is perfectly acceptable when one requires more information into an issue, Twitter did not seem to agree. Rather ironically, two groups with rather different expectations have now been united by a common hashtag and goal. While many call for a boycott of Zomato for putting up the advertisements, others are calling for a boycott of the company for even implying that it would investigate and possibly stop putting advertisements on Republic TV. Admittedly though, many urging the company to "#DefundTheHate" have called for a constructive dialogue rather than an outright boycott at present.
"Dear @zomatoin @zomato republic bharat is the no1 news channel of india and crore viewers of this channel buy from you. If your looking into this on the instructions of anti-nationals like Swara, we will boycott you. Believe me you will regret this!" read one angry tweet.
The user followed this up with videographic evidence of themselves uninstalling the app. This is not an isolated post of incident. Hundreds of rather ominous tweets have informed Zomato that "they will be sorry" they sided with Bhasker and other critics, reminding them of Tanishq.
Incidentally, the Zomato controversy is also the reason why Swiggy is trending, as people vow to switch to the competing brand.
Swara Bhasker incidentally is also the reason why Harpic is getting cancelled today. Hours after actor Akshay Kumar urged people to fight against water shortage and poor hygiene, the fact that Harpic India was a part of this initiative became an issue. And as many took notice and began their Twitter tirade against this, others realised that Swara Bhasker had also been a part of a Harpic advertisement in the past. The ad in question features Bhasker as a new bride, urging people to use Harpic to ensure hygiene and cleanliness
Now this is not a new advisement, having been around since the beginning of 2018. But nonetheless, having only just been discovered by most of Twitter, it is of course time to cancel Harpic at the end of 2020.
Coming to the third cancellation of Thursday, the Bingo ban does not have much to do with the above mentioned individuals, other than the general diatribe against Bollywood. "#BoycottBingo" is trending because of a new advertisement featuring Ranveer Singh that is apparently against late actor Sushant Singh Rajput. The use of words such as "photon" and "paradox" have set people off, with many opining that Singh is attempting to imitate or mock the late actor.
"Sushant is living rent free in Ranveer's mind. Sushant won ! PS: One word for this advertisement - CRASS" tweeted one user.
"We find @BingoSnacks recent advertisement with Ranveer Singh very offensive to late actor Sushant Singh Rajput. It mocks his ideologies which we respect. It has hurt public sentiments. We like the advertisement taken down. Thank you (sic)," explained another.