Reacting to the issue raised by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) over a Rupa Frontline advertisement featuring actor Ranveer Singh thrashing a shark, the brand’s spokesperson said that the visuals were not intended to offend anyone, and added that a disclaimer would soon be attached to the commercial.
The recent advertisement garnered negative response due to visuals showing Ranveer taking a dive into an ocean to save a girl from a shark and beating up a shark to portray his masculinity.
“This is to clarify that the shark shown in the latest Rupa commercial featuring Ranveer Singh is a rubber toy, no animal was used in the shoot. It is not our intention to hurt anyone’s sentiment. We will be adding a disclaimer to the ad to this effect,” said Mukesh Agarwal, whole-time director, Rupa & Co. Ltd. brand’s spokesperson, in a statement.
While condemning the advertisement, the animal rights organisation raised concerns and said it plans to take the matter forward by writing to the actor and the brand.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Poorva Joshipura, PETA India CEO, said: “PETA will be writing to Rupa Frontline and Ranveer Singh to share our concerns on behalf of sharks and today’s socially aware youth.”
The animal rights organisation also condemned the gesture of using an animal to woo someone.
“By recruiting Ranveer Singh, Rupa Frontline is desperately trying to attract youth, but nothing shows how utterly out of touch with youngsters the company actually is than its depiction of cruelty to animals in its advertisement. There is nothing sexy about pretending to beat up an animal, and nothing that may disgust a girl more.
“The ‘ruthless killers’ in the human-shark relationship are actually the humans. Recent studies indicate that up to 73 million sharks are killed each year, mainly for their fins, which are put in soups and eaten mostly in Asia. India is the second largest shark fishing nation in the world,” Joshipura added.
This is not the first time Ranveer has courted controversy. The actor’s recent brush with an issue was when he took part in the controversial “AIB Roast”.