Tanishq Ad Controversy: Need to Deal Cautiously with Social Issues

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Case Code: MKTG435
Case Length: 7 Pages
Period: 2020-2021
Pub Date: 2021
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.300
Organization : Titan Company Limited
Industry : -
Countries : India
Themes: Marketing Communication, Advertising & Promotion, Public Relations & Media, Consumer Behavior
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Abstract Case Intro 1 Excerpts


The case “Tanishq Ad Controversy: Need to Deal Cautiously with Social Issues” talks about the backlash resulting from the airing of an ad by Indian jewelry brand Tanishq, which sought to showcase religious harmony in India but ended up exposing the country’s bitter religious divide. Tanishq, a division of Titan Company Limited – a subsidiary of the large Indian conglomerate, The Tata Group – released the ad in different Indian media channels for its new collection called ‘Ekatvam’ – which means ‘oneness’.

The case starts out by mentioning the reasons for Tanishq coming up with that particular ad. It then goes on to describe the key points on which the ad was criticized by several sections of society. It also provides the views of certain sections of society who lauded the ad for its message of religious unity. The hullabaloo around the ad led to Tanishq withdrawing it within three days of its being aired. Analysts used the controversy to highlight the need for companies to exercise caution while dealing with incendiary social and political issues, so as not inadvertently harm their brand image and business prospects.


The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:

  • To know the message strategy of a brand.
  • Understand different advertising appeals and consumer behavior.
  • Analyze the use of social issues in ads.
  • Recognize the steps to be taken by a company before making an ad on social issues.
  • Understand the need for self-regulation in ads.
  • Examine the impact of a wrong messaging strategy on a brand.



Message strategy; Advertising appeals; Consumer behavior; Social issues in ads; Self-regulation in ads; Advertising & Communication Management; Controversial ads; Message execution; Social Awareness; Religion; Political Issue; Trolling; Social Media; Marketing Analytics; Brand Image

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