SRINAGAR: Seeking apology from Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of Aditya Birla Group, which owns Idea Cellular, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) has sent him a legal notice asking for compensation of Rs 400 crore for loss of business and reputation by its ‘misleading ad’.
A notice, a copy of which is with Kashmir Reader, by Advocate Azhar-ul-Amin on behalf of KCCI has given seven days time to Birla to respond and tender an unconditional apology for Idea’s famous ad campaign series no Ullu Banawing, (don’t make us fool) in which it has depicted Kashmiri salesman performing an act of cheating on two Indian women in a sale of Kashmiri Pashmina Shawl.
“Your advertisement has damaged honour and reputation of Kashmiries in general and Pashmina Shawl manufacturers and traders in particular,” notice addressed to Birla reads.
Blaming the company for ‘premeditated and intentional effort to damage the reputation of Kashmiri traders’, the KCCI has asked for immediately stopping telecast of the ad and repeated telecast of an apology on the TV channels on the prime time.
“Publish and telecast apologies as many times as this advertisement has been telecast and in as many television channels as have telecast this advertisement,” the notice reads.
Saying that the advertisement has hurt, pained and agonized not only traders and manufacturers but all Kashmiris, the notice has asked for compensation of Rs 300 crore for loss of business and reputation of the traders and Rs 1 crore for suffering pain and agony.
“Your advertisement has promoted your telephony service at the cost of Kashmiri trade of Pashmina Shawl worth hundreds of crores,” the notice reads.
Meanwhile KCCI has hailed the state government for taking serious note of the ad and taking up the issue with the government of India.