Netizens had called out the ad for being casteist and dehumanizing. In response, the brand has taken down the ad and apologised.
Zomato has taken down an advertisement after receiving severe backlash from netizens. The 'kachra' campaign was released on the occasion of ‘World Environment Day’ to raise awareness about the burden of plastic waste on the planet.
The ad featured actor, Aditya Lakhia who portrayed the character of 'Kachra' in the 2001 Bollywood movie 'Lagaan'. The ad was slammed by social media users as it drew comparisons between the character 'Kachra'- who belongs to a marginalised community in the movie and plastic waste. The ad portrayed the actor as a recycled hand towel, flower pot and paper etc. It aimed at showcasing how Zomato has recycled 20 million kg of plastic so far.
“Zomato voluntarily recycles more than 100% of the plastic used to package orders, and keeps it out of landfills. This 20 million kg of plastic waste, recycled in FY 23 under our 100% plastic-neutral deliveries initiative, can be turned into many items of immense value. We believe in the power of recycling, and kachra – the best spinner in the entire British Raj – does as well,” read the description of the Youtube ad which has now been taken down.
The brand in a statement said that their intent was to spread the benefits of recycling in a humorous way. However, they may have hurt sentiments unintentionally.
The ad has been called out for being insensitive. #Boycott Zomato has also been trending on Twitter.