O&M’s Kurl-On Ad Draws Flak
A set of three ads on an online ad forum under ‘Bounce Back’ theme creates a stir IndiGo’s Print Ad Surprises Industry
PRITHA MITRA DASGUPTA
Aseries of advertisements Ogilvy & Mather (O&M) created for mattress brand Kurl-On has drawn flak over its offensive content, bringing scam ads back in focus just a year after a similar controversy made Bobby Pawar quit JWT as the agency’s managing partner and chief creative officer. O&M released a set of three illustrated ads titled 'Bounce Back' on online ad forum Ads of the World. One of them shows Pakistani student activist Malala Yousafzai tumbles in the air after being shot on the head, lands on a Kurl-On mattress and bounces back to accept the Nobel peace prize. It has attracted widespread contempt for using a recent and horrendous tragedy to sell a product. When contacted an O&M spokesman said, “We deeply regret this incident and want to personally apologise to Malala Yousafzai and her family. We are investigating how our standards were compromised in this case and will take whatever corrective action is neces- sary.” A highly placed source in the agency said the ads were not released on any other medium. The agency had entered the ‘Bounce Back’ series for the Kyoorius Advertising and Digital awards, but withdrew it on May 14 on the second day of the jury session, one of the judges on the panel said. Mails written to Kurl- On MD T Sudhakar Pai, CEO Santonu Choudhury and CMO Bala Rajan on whether the series was a part of the brief given by the company or proactive work done by the agency did not elicit a response as of press time. The other two ads feature Mahatma Gandhi and Apple founder Steve Jobs. One shows Jobs bouncing back to become a great American entrepreneur after being booted out of the house, while the other shows lawyer Gandhi being thrown out of the train and bouncing back to become the father of the nation. Several industry heads ET spoke to feel that someone senior from the agency should take the responsibility for creating this series.
A print ad by low-cost carrier IndiGo on Thursday surprised many, as it didn’t have any apparent relation with its product, operations, or brand, reports Our Bureau. The ad was in the form of a didactic poem. Its verses, implying that nothing will hold back the airline from attaining greatness, had industry watchers wondering whether this was a hint at something bigger — the advent of an investor or prelude to an IPO. While a company spokesperson said it was “just a branding campaign”, its ad agency clarified that the airline’s message linked to Friday’s poll results. “No matter which government comes to power, IndiGo will continue to give the most competent services,” said V Sunil, executive creative director at Wieden Kennedy.