An advertisement by e-commerce giant Flipkart featuring has landed in controversy.
Smartphone retailers have alleged that the ad misleads the audience into believing that online platforms are offering better deals during the festive season, with ‘huge discounts.’
In the Hindi advertisement, it is allegedly being implied that Flipkart is offering on mobiles this season, will not be available at retail stores.
The All India Mobile Retailers Association (AIMRA) has reacted to the advertisement, featuring Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan, and wrote to all leading smartphone brands to highlight the matter.
The association asked brand teams to ‘issue either a joint or individual statement in prominent news media outlets, publicly clarifying that these statements are not accurate.’
‘Our purpose in addressing you is to express our deep concern and disappointment regarding the recent wave of derogatory advertisements that have been proliferating across various online platforms, social media, and print media. These advertisements have been influencing the buying behaviour of customers through false and misleading statements, such as the one promoted by Flipkart with the endorsement of the mega star, Mr. Amitabh Bachchan, stating, ‘yeh Dukan per nahin milne wala‘ (This will not be found in stores),’ AIMRA said in its letter to smartphone brands in India.
The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has written to Amitabh Bachchan condemning his association with the endorsement.
E-commerce platforms often undertake deep discounting of products during festival time, especially smartphones, which form a big part of sales, often undercutting retail competition.
While this has negatively affected the business of brick-an-mortar establishments, as per the claim, he Union government is reportedly working drafting an e-commerce policy which will address the issue of deep discounting.
Flipkart has not responded to the statement yet. The advertisement is currently private on Youtube.
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