So after all the hoo-ha surrounding it’s campaign for Haagen-Dazs’ first ice-cream outlet in New Delhi, TBWA can kiss goodbye it’s chances of managing the ice-cream giant’s account in India.
Of course, Haagen-Dazs apologised as expected, saying the promo contained the “wrong choice of words”. In today’s connected world, this was enough to create a storm on the Internet, more specifically on Twitter, where everybody had an opinion to voice and there was a lot of negative publicity generated. No doubt there was also a feeling that this was an orchestrated stunt to create hype, but it soon became obvious the ad agency had goofed up.
TBWA was expected to manage the India account as it already manages Haagen-Dazs’ accounts in other Asia-Pacific markets including Malaysia, South Korea, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines.
However, opinion on this, though split, largely agreed that the onus lay on both, and the company could not get out of it’s responsibility for finally approving the ad.
This is especially true for a market like India, where one also has to factor in all the languages spoken here, and it is quite likely that a word in one language can mean something derogatory in another. As the above example shows, even an ad in English is not safe anymore !! 😀