Ms. Deepika Bhardwaj, a Journalist and Documentary Film maker recently brought to our notice in SIF Yahoo group that an extremely condescending campaign from Asian Paints has started which is called ‘Husbands are Useless’ as they cannot select the right color of the house. Ms Bhardwaj believes that all sensible people, men and women alike must protest against such Company’s’ Useless activities to sell their Useless products.
Many members had already started to file compliant at Advertising Standards Council Of India .
Mr. Janak Merchant wrote to Mr. Ashwin Dani, Mr.Ashwin Choksi, and Mr. Abhay Vakil, of Asian Paints: Are you all three aware about this campaign being run by your company on Facebook? “Husbands are useless.”
Are you aware that it is not at all humorous? What does the caption say? Is it not insulting to husbands? Has your own company been built by useless husbands? Are married shareholder husbands of Asian Paints useless? Your campaign caption itself means that the married people working in your company all are useless, including the directors of your company who all are married, including the workers who actually paint walls of your customers. I have met you in the AGMs and have been your company shareholder and recently for my new flat also I used Asian Paints. Now the obvious choice would be Kansai. I hope you all realize that till this campaign has been launched there were many who used your product. Many now will not. If your marketing dept does not know how to use their brains then it is high time that only rational people appointed. Otherwise why don't they also start another campaign "wives are useless?" Well it would be highly irrational to even recommend that.
Dr. Dinesh Khanna, a practicing doctor from UK emailed: I am deeply saddened and ashamed to watch your adverts 'Husbands are useless'. This is the height of spreading misandry in the society. It is because of people like you that Men and husbands in generally get a bad reputation without doing anything wrong. Because of people and companies like you, lakhs of Indian husbands suffer in silence because of the widespread misandry in society.
If the creators of the video are men/husbands, I think they would need a serious psychological review since this symptom of lowered self-esteem is a clear sign of depressive disorder. Lack/poor sense of humor is suggestive of autism or aspersers syndrome. I am sure the creators suffer from either of these two conditions. I also wonder if the male employees and stakeholders of the company also feel they are useless. If so, then God save the company!
It is one thing to be artistic; it is another to be out rightly prejudiced. I hope someone will drop-in a complaint against your company and sue you for airing such a misandrous advertisement, Shameful indeed.
Since I have Indian roots, it becomes my responsibility to oppose anything that divides the nation and seeds hatred within India. I vow never to use any Asian paints product and will ask others to shun using your products within India and abroad.
Mr. Partha Sadhukhan, a blogger has created a blog The 'Useless' husband speaks | The fighter for innocent people .
In his blog, Mr Sadhukhan draws our attention to how Asian paints have replied with monotonous answers when many Indians have started to complain about the advert. Asian paints are deluded that the advert is ‘humorous’ and no husbands have been hurt. Mr Sadhukhan also brought to our notice that the company has 14 directors and all are husbands, so naturally the question arises whether their company directors are useless. How can the company assure a common man that their product and service are not useless? If the directors of the company are useless husbands themselves, if they are failing to select the color of their own homes, how they can claim they can offer a common man useful advice or useful product?
If we see some news it proved beyond reasonable dought how the uselessness of their sales/marketing team failed to get sufficient order to run their factory and company came out various excuses for shut down of plant , as a Marketing man is not difficult to understand , if company have sufficient order flow , they never go for shut down in excuses.
Now if any advertisement had been made labeling a wife as USELESS in the name of Humor, not only Women’s organizations, but all media anchors would have bashed them left, right and center. Does their useless marketing team have courage to term any wife as USELESS in any of their advertisements? If they dare create such an advert labeling a wife, they will face the wrath of women’s organizations and media; and will then realize labeling someone USELESS is not funny.
In the last 2-3 days I have received various complaints not only from husbands, but also from many women expressing concern that such type of advertisements are creating disharmony in their family as their husbands feel ridiculed since they had purchased Asian paints for their home.
The advertisements labeling Husbands are useless, is nothing but promoting domestic violence against men by their wives through verbal, mental and economical abuse. This will definitely lead to disharmony in our society, arguments within the family and hence lead to souring of relationships.
I would urge the company to immediately remove such advertisements and offer an apology and a promise that such sexist, provocative, hurtful and demeaning advertisements would never be created by them. An arrogant reply that husbands have not been hurt and the advert is in good humor will not be accepted.
So that they can smell the coffee, I would also urge the company directors and its employees to refer to NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau), which reports that in India every year more than 68,000 married men end their lives. This equates to death of a husband every 9 minutes in India. Such adverts will only worsen the situation. The face of crime is rapidly changing and I would want them to realize that crime knows no gender. Please read this Wife engages contract killers to bump off husband .
I will be waiting for the necessary action from the company. I also propose taking strong action against all those people and companies who create such male-hating advertisements. Till the time Asian paints do not remove the advert, I will request all our SIF and associated members to Boycott all Asian Paints product and company shares. I have already sold all my shares of Asian Paints due to their Useless advert. We may be labelled Useless by them but we do have brains!
If their marketing team is so Useless that they need to demean a gender, I suggest the company to come to us at SIF. Our members work in TOP MNCs all across the world in the fields of Sales, Marketing & Media and we have created wonderful advertisements that carry mass appeal. If we can make adverts for Google, we can make adverts for Asian paints as well that are not demeaning, hurtful and obnoxious. We will ensure that our advert helps promote the product and also encourages domestic harmony within the family.
Asian paints must stop creating and sharing such useless adverts from immediate effect and also do some CSR activity for the welfare of men. These vulnerable men end their lives due to domestic violence in their own homes and inadvertently such adverts are promoting such violence against men.