People are calling for a boycott of a Korean automobile company, and one of the hot-selling brands in the market ‘Hyundai’ after the company’s Pakistani social media handles tweeted a post related to remembering the “sacrifices of our Kashmiri brothers” on February 5, which Pakistan observes as ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day.
The tweet made by Handles of Hyundai Pakistan said, “Let us remember the sacrifices of our Kashmiri brothers and stand in support as they continue to struggle for freedom.”
Although these posts have been deleted now, this whole incident has poked and eroded the Indian twitters users as they have taken offence and had begun a boycott campaign against Hyundai.
Following this, in their defence, Hyundai Motor India Limited, in a statement, said that it stands firmly for its “strong ethos of respecting nationalism”. HMIL is a wholly-owned subsidiary of South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Company.
“Hyundai Motor India has been committed to the Indian market for more than 25 years now, and we stand firmly for our strong ethos of respecting nationalism. The unsolicited social media post linking Hyundai Motor India is offending our unparalleled commitment and service to this great country. India is a second home to the Hyundai brand, and we have a zero-tolerance policy towards insensitive communication, and we strongly condemn any such view. As part of our commitment to India, we will continue our efforts towards the betterment of the country as well as its citizens,” the statement said.
The Korean automobile giant apologised, and the matter has subdued now, but the citizens calling for a boycott of a company and their products is not the first time happened. Interestingly, following Hyundai Pakistan’s post, KFC Pakistan and Pizza Hut also uploaded a similar post for Kashmir Solidarity day, and now both these brands are facing a backlash on Twitter as well.
KFC Pakistan handles took to its social media showings its support to the cause. “You never left our thoughts, and we hope that the coming years bring peace to you. Their cravings for freedom are heartfelt,” the Pakistan franchise’s post read.
Pizza Hut’s Pakistan handles posted,” it read. The companies have removed both posts from all the platforms. Calls For Boycott Netizens posted screenshots of the posts and questioned the companies’ stand on the issue, while many called for boycotting these two fast-food chains.
Many companies in the past had to bear the brunt of citizens’ anger. One of these examples is of Online giant Amazon. Recently, around the 73rd Republic Day, e-commerce giant Amazon faced a massive backlash on the social media sites for selling products having the Indian National Flag imprinted on them. With the Tricolour imprint on the packaging of the vivid products, including clothing, face masks, keychains, etc., available on the platform, several users took to Twitter to share their outrage for disrespecting Indian sentiments. However, Following this backlash, the company discontinued its tri-colour printed packaging.
Detergent company Surf was one of those companies that had to face backlash due to one of its Holi advertisement campaigns. A Surf Excel advertisement featuring a young ‘Hindu’ girl who ensures her Muslim friend gets to the mosque in clean white clothes during the Holi festival caused a lot of stir on social media after it was released on February 27, 2019. Under their ‘Rang Laaye Sang’ (colours bring us together) campaign, the brand released an advertisement to promote Hindu-Muslim unity. But sadly, this noble idea of their faced a lot of hatred.
Just like Surf excel, Nestle also faced backlash for one of its advertising campaigns in which they put Lord Jagannath on the wrapper of their famous chocolate ‘KitKat’. Many people asserted that such wrappers with images featuring Lord Jagannath and his siblings would later be found in dustbins and on roads as people would discard the wrappers after eating the chocolate.
Later, Nestle India apologised following the backlash for putting images of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Mata Subhadra on the wrapper of its product KitKat. Many individuals were concerned over the design of the wrapper and even urged its withdrawal. However, in their explanatory statement for the campaign, the company also stated that it had launched the Kitkat travel packs to “celebrate beautiful local destinations & last year we wanted to celebrate the culture of Odisha with designs on packs representing ‘Pattachitra’, an art form uniquely identifiable by its vivid imagery”.