The recent collaboration between Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan and e-commerce platform Flipkart in their latest advertisement has sparked controversy and drawn the ire of mobile phone retailers. The Hindi advertisement, part of a promotional campaign for the upcoming festive season, features Amitabh Bachchan discussing exclusive mobile phone deals that are purportedly unavailable at retail stores. Mobile phone retailers have raised concerns, asserting that these claims are misleading potential buyers.
The All India Mobile Retailers Association (AIMRA), representing a substantial network of 150,000 mobile retailers, took action by addressing smartphone brands in a detailed letter. In this letter, AIMRA expressed deep concern and disappointment regarding the recent surge in derogatory advertisements that have proliferated across various online platforms, social media, and print media. AIMRA pointed out that these advertisements, notably exemplified by Flipkart’s campaign with the endorsement of Amitabh Bachchan, have been influencing consumer behavior through false and misleading statements. A prime example cited in the letter is the assertion that such deals are exclusively available online with the phrase, “yeh Dukan per nahin milne wala” (This will not be found in stores).
Furthermore, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), representing an impressive alliance of 80 million retailers, addressed Amitabh Bachchan directly in a strongly worded letter. CAIT expressed profound disappointment over his recent advertisement for Flipkart, particularly objecting to claims that deals and offers cannot be found at local retail shops. They contended that such statements were misleading and had the potential to influence consumers adversely.
At present, both Flipkart and Amitabh Bachchan have not publicly responded to the backlash surrounding the campaign. Nevertheless, Flipkart has taken a preliminary step to address the situation by making the video private on YouTube, signaling their intent to address concerns and maintain transparency within the marketplace, benefiting both consumers and retailers.