Throwback to 2021: Here are the topmost controversial ads that received backlash on social media!

Sabyasachi mangalsutra ad controversy to FabIndia ad, here are the overall flash of the most controversial ads of 2021.

There have been numerous advertisements that have received backlash via social media. And now, in the end of this year, let’s take a ride on the uppermost controversial ads of 2021.

Sabyasachi Mangalsutra Controversy:

(Image Source- The Economic Times)

Starting off our list is this ‘Intimate Fine Jewellery’ designed by renowned fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee. However, the advertisement received plenty of backlash via social media. As the promotional photoshoot features models wearing the mangalsutra while posing solo or in intimate positions with other models. In one of the pictures, there is also a female model wearing a brassiere along with the mangalsutra, resting her head on a shirtless male model.

(Image Source-

To this, several social media users brutally trolled the designer and then the ace designer took to Instagram to state “In the context of making heritage and culture a dynamic conversation, the Mangalsutra campaign aimed to talk about inclusivity and empowerment. The campaign was intended as a celebration and we are deeply saddened that it has instead offended a section of our society. So we at Sabyasachi have decided to withdraw the campaign.”

Notably, the withdrawal follows a 24-hour ultimatum to the designer by Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra as he said the advertisement has an “objectionable and hurtful” portrayal of mangalsutra and should be taken down, failing which he would face legal action.

Fabindia Ad Controversy: 

(Image Source- Quartz)

Famous ethnic wear brand Fabindia was enforced to drop down a promotional advertisement after facing backlash from right-wing groups. However, the brand was accused of “demeaning” the Hindu festival Diwali by naming its festive collection ‘Jashn-e-Riwaaz’ (celebration of tradition). Although the clothing brand withdrew all promotions, it clarified that the lunch was not its Diwali collection. Moreover, the clothing brand announced that the Diwali collection would be launched under ‘Jhilmil si Diwali’ promo.

The statement read, “Our current capsule of products under the name Jashn-e-Riwaaz is a celebration of Indian traditions. The phrase means that, literally. The capsule is not our Deepavali Collection of products. Our Diwali collection called ‘Jhilmil si Diwali’ is yet to be launched.”

Several right-wing groups started taking chagrin at it and #boycottFabIndia started to trend on Twitter.

Subsequently, on 9th October Fabindia tweeted, “As we welcome the festival of love and light, Jashn-e-Riwaaz, by Fabindia is a collection that beautifully pays homage to Indian culture…”
However, the protest increased post BJP Yuva Morcha President Tejasvi Surya tweeted, “Deepavali is not Jash-e-Riwaaz. This deliberate attempt of abrahamisation of Hindu festivals, depicting models without traditional Hindu attires, must be called out. And brands like @FabindiaNews must face economic costs for such deliberate misadventures.”


Fem Ad Controversy: 

(Image Source- The Indian Express)

Homegrown FMCG brand Dabur India faced public outcry over its Karva Chauth ad for its brand Fem Bleach. As the ad displayed two young women celebrating Karva Chauth – a Hindu ritual that appears married women not eating from sunrise to moonrise, for the well wishing of their husbands. The women in the ad were shown looking at each other through a sieve.

However, the ad faced trolling as many netizens and Madhya Pradesh Home Minister, Narottam Mishra were offended by the concept. Moreover, he claimed that it was ‘objectionable’. He further stated that he had prompted the director general of police, asking the brand to withdraw its ad, failing which, it would face legal consequences.

As per ANI report, Mishra also claimed that most advertisements were based on Hindu festival rituals and that there could be a similar situation with gay men too, if action wasn’t taken against this. He stated that going forward, scenes that could hurt Hindu sentiments should not be shot and that there would be permanent guidelines for brands and prior permission that they’d require, for the shooting of such scenes.

Meanwhile, following Mishra’s reaction and other netizens’ hurt religious sentiments, the FMCG giant took down its ad and apologized via a tweet on 25 October.

Give it a look: