After a bank union, All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC), slammed Kerala-based jewellery chain, Kalyan Jewellers for their new advertisement, the ad featuring Amitabh Bachchan and daughter, Shweta Bachchan Nanda has been withdrawn. "We sincerely regret the inadvertent hurt caused and withdraw the advertisement from all media with immediate effect," said Ramesh Kalyanaraman, Executive Director of Kalyan Jewellers, in a statement. "We understand that the advertisement has hurt sentiments of some people including members of our esteemed banking community. Any such hurtful interpretation being drawn is unintended," he further added.
The ad showed an old, honest man, accompanied by his daughter, visiting a bank where he is dismissed and pushed from one counter to another by rude bank officials. The union called the portrayal of bank officials "disgusting" and called it a "direct attempt to ruin the trust and confidence of billions of citizenries in banks".
"We state that the creative advertisement was a work of fiction and not a reflection of banking employees at large. Along with crores of Indians, we acknowledge the valuable contribution of the banking community to our country," the statement by Kalyan Jewellers said.
Amitabh Bachchan and daughter Shweta Bachchan Nanda were also criticised for being part of the ad. "Bachchan tries to exhibit his honesty by drumming around that honesty doesn't mean when everyone is watching, rather it is about being honest when nobody is looking at you. But, Mr Bachchan perhaps was unaware that in the process of doing so on screen, he has made a mockery of the entire bankers' community in the ad which is deplorable and culpable," the bank union had said in a statement earlier.
"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," said AIBOC General Secretary Soumya Datta.
While Kalyan Jewellers called the ad a work of fiction, AIBOC demanded that the ad be withdrawn, failing which the union said that they would initiate suitable "organisational action, including dharnas and litigation".
Amitabh Bachchan had also posted the ad on Twitter along with an emotional message. "Emotional moment for me .. tears welling up every time I see it .. daughters are the BEST !! (sic)," he wrote.
The ad was the father-daughter duo's first onscreen act. In the ad's Malayalam version, popular actress Manju Warrier played the role of his daughter.
(With PTI inputs)