Puma ac­cused of de­fac­ing her­itage for shoe com­mer­cial

Oman Daily Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

NEW DELHI: Global sports­wear gi­ant Puma was ac­cused Tues­day of ir­re­versibly dam­ag­ing 17th­cen­tury ar­chi­tec­ture in Delhi’s his­toric quar­ter as part of an ad­ver­tis­ing stunt to pro­mote a new line of shoes.

The fa­cades of sev­eral build­ings in Old Delhi have been spray­painted with large colour­ful mu­rals for the shoe cam­paign that Puma said “cap­tures the grit of In­dian streets” on its web­site.

But the stunt — dubbed “Suede Gully” af­ter the shoe ma­te­rial and the Hindi word for street — has in­fu­ri­ated con­ser­va­tion­ists who ac­cused Puma of de­fac­ing the cen­turiesold quar­ter built by Mughal em­peror Shah Ja­han.

Puma could not im­me­di­ately be reached for com­ment but a spokes­woman for the sports­wear brand told The In­dian Ex­press news­pa­per “all nec­es­sary per­mis­sions were sought”.

In an ad­ver­tis­ing video for the Puma cam­paign, In­dian rap­pers and hip-hop dancers per­form at graf­fiti-cov­ered lo­ca­tions in­clud­ing trains in the fi­nan­cial cap­i­tal Mum­bai. Rules to pro­tect Delhi’s ne­glected her­itage sites from de­struc­tion are widely ig­nored, con­ser­va­tion­ists say.

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