Adland ‘Inkaar’ to film with NCD accusing agency CEO of sexual harassment

23 Jan,2013

By Rajiv Singh

 

Inkaar, Sudhir Mishra’s latest film, may have failed to set the box office on fire, but it has created quite a flutter in the advertising world, with the fraternity refusing to accept the way it depicts an ad agency.

 

In the film, Maya Luthra (Chitrangda Singh), the national creative director of an ad agency, accuses CEO Rahul Verma (Arjun Rampal) of sexually harassing her.

 

That, of course, is not the best advertising for the industry.

 

Prasoon Joshi

“Advertising is probably the only profession in the country where a woman can do what she wants to do, can speak her mind without even an iota of fear and can live her life the way she wants to be,” Prasoon Joshi, CEO and chief creative officer of McCann World Group India, says.

 

Lack of knowledge and understanding about the industry could be the reason for choosing ad agency as the workplace for depicting sexual harassment, he avers. “It’s not an industry of exploitation but an industry of equality.” Almost everybody in the fraternity agrees. It’s a mad world, but not bad, they say.

 

Priti Nair

Priti Nair, director and co-founder of ad agency Curry-Nation, says the film falls to the stereotype that ad agency is glamour-laden and loose life. “You just have to show a woman wearing a nose ring, with a wine glass in hand, and yes smoking-and you have an ad woman,” she says.

 

KV Sridhar, chief creative officer, Indian subcontinent, at Leo Burnett, however, believes that there’s no stereotyping. “Ad agencies have become a metaphor of progressive women and flamboyant men,” he says. Sridhar says it’s a good thing that a movie has been made on a sensitive issue. “There are not many movies dealing with sexual harassment,” he says.

 

KV Sridhar

Branding experts feel interpersonal dynamics ranging from fancy free flings to forced sexual innuendos at workplace connect with the audience because it’s a subliminal reality nearly everywhere.

 

“Power disequilibrium is what fuels exploitation, sexually or otherwise,” says Smitha Sarma Ranganathan, a brand communication specialist who teaches marketing management at IBS Bangalore. “So, over-emphasising and contextualising this specifically to the advertising industry paints a biased picture of the fraternity at large.”

 

Source:The Economic Times

Copyright © 2013, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All Rights Reserved

 

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