Â· Acme Clothing PVT Ltd would contribute Rs 50 to the Army Central Welfare Fund on every shirt sold at their outlets in Mumbai, New Delhi, Chandigarh, Jammu, Shimla, Pune etc.
WITH INDIA out of the World Cup, Indian hawkers of various wares: Be it air time, be it TV or for that matter shirts have a Unique Selling Product (USP) to sell their ware: Kargil.
It is no longer Sachin, Jadeja or Azhar and his boys for the Indian industries. The pitch battle in Kargil has given fresh life to the Indian, the multi-national companies, and their advertisers to peddle their merchandise.
No wonder, that many companies in India are now advertising heavily in print media about their noble intention to donate a certain amount of money for every shirt, TV, walkman, air-time the consumers buy.
While one argument is that the final beneficiaries of these advertisements will be the Armed Forces, others are upset with the way such companies are selling their goods and linking it to Kargil.
A group of concerned citizens including many journalists in Mumbai has petitioned the Maharashtra governor, Dr PC Alexander to stop these companies from using gallantly as a tool of commercialization.
“Why can’t these companies donate in a more dignified manner? Kargil is being milked dry from all its worth by leading companies. Why use Kargil as a fig-leaf for want they want to sell?” asks one of the signatories to the memorandum that has been sent to the Governor.
The basic contention of those who have signed the memorandum is that there are many industrialists and many other companies who have been silently doing work and sending their donations to the Kargil affected jawans. And no, none of them is using Kargil to link their contribution to their sales.
The provocation for this memorandum came when the Maharashtra deputy Chief Minister, Mr. Gopinath Munde, consented to be a part of what the memorandum says ‘is a shameless publicity stunt’.
Mr. Munde was scheduled to flag off ‘Provogue salutes the Indian Soldier’ campaign on Saturday evening in Mumbai where in the manufacturers of Provogue shirts would be contributing Rs 50 from June 19 to August 15 for each shirt they would be selling in this period.
On the question of making a dignified and quite donation as done by many other big companies and individuals like Ratan Tata, ms Lorraine Paul of Acme Clothing says it is all a matter of individual choice.
“Ratan Tata is an individual. I cannot comment on him or Tata group. We feel emotionally about Kargil and therefore have decided to advertise and send donations”, explains Ms Paul.
Leading Cellular giant, Hutchison Max who have decided to give one rupee for every minute that a subscriber calls and have placed huge advertisements were not available for comments.
Sampark Communication, which handles Hutchison Max account, said officials of Hutchison Max were not available for comment as it was a week-end holiday for them.
By Ketan Narottam Tanna