Lord Jagannath’s photo on KitKat Wrapper sparks Twitter outrage, Nestlé India apologizes
Nestle India has faced backlash on social media after the company included images of Lord Jagannath, Subhadra and Balabhadra on the packaging of their KitKat product. A section of the internet is upset by the decision and has taken to social media to complain. They are of the opinion that it hurts religious feelings. A Twitter user claimed that since most people after they finish eating KitKat chocolates throw the wrappers down the drains, roads and garbage cans and that’s why, having images of gods like Lord Jagannath, Subhadra and Balabhadra on these wrappers would be to demean them. Another user reiterated the statement while adding that while it was an honor to have Odisha’s culture represented on the cover of KitKat, there’s no denying that people throw the wrappers in trash cans or on the roads. after consuming the chocolate.
It’s an honor to see our Odisha culture and lord jagannath, balabhadra and subhadra on ##KitKat but please think once, when someone eats 🍫 and throws the packaging in the bins, sewers, gutters and many will step on it 😭. The Jagannath family will be delighted. @CMO_Odisha @PMOIndia pic.twitter.com/10xPKsdz5c— Sanjeeb Kumar Shaw (@sanjeebshaw1) January 16, 2022
Following the controversy, Nestlé India issued an apology saying it did not intend to hurt feelings or religious beliefs. The product with the packaging was launched by Nestlé India last year and it was withdrawn soon after.
Salvation! Kitkat Vacation Packages are meant to celebrate beautiful local destinations. Last year, we wanted to celebrate the culture of Odisha with designs on packaging depicting ‘Pattachitra’, an art form uniquely identifiable by its vivid imagery. (1/3)— We Care About Nestlé (@NestleIndiaCare) January 18, 2022
The visual was inspired by the government’s tourism website. We wanted to encourage people to learn about the art and its artisans. Our past campaigns have also shown that consumers love to collect and keep such beautiful designs. (2/3)— We Care About Nestlé (@NestleIndiaCare) January 18, 2022
We understand the sensitivity of the matter and regret if we have inadvertently hurt someone’s feelings. With immediate action, we had already started removing these packs from the market. We thank you for your understanding and support. (3/3)— We Care About Nestlé (@NestleIndiaCare) January 18, 2022
In a tweet, FMCG said it wanted to celebrate Odisha’s culture with designs on packaging depicting ‘Pattachitra’ and that the government’s tourism website inspired the visual.
Recently, the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) received hundreds of complaints investigated 1,759 complaints against 488 advertisements over the past three years and some broad trends or categories emerged as to what Indians found offensive. Ads that seemed to hurt religious feelings formed another category. These included religious accounts that deviated from convention or attempted to show non-traditional interpretations of religious practices. Making humorous content from religious and cultural grounds was also deemed offensive. Ads perceived to have “crossed cultural boundaries” were also offensive. These were ads that attempted to subvert what is considered sacred in Indian culture or attempted to portray intergenerational relationships in an unconventional way.
Read all the latest news, breaking news and updates on coronavirus here.