Too Much To ‘Beer’…
Maika Brewerie, an Israeli Company, manufactured a special kind of beer to mark the Jewish Nation’s 71st Independence Day (celebrated on April 28) this year! Many leaders of Israel, like former Prime Ministers David Ben-Gurion, Golda Meir, Menachem Begin, and Father of Zionism Theodor Herzl found their places on the labels of those beer bottles, along with Mahatma Gandhi, who led India to Independence and had inspired movements for Civil Rights and Freedom across the world! Gandhi’s image on beer bottles triggered a controversy, prompting the company to tender apology to the South Asian Nation for hurting sentiments of millions of Indians!
Even, the Upper House of the Indian Parliament (or the Rajya Sabha) discussed the issue on July 2, and asked the Israeli liquor-manufacturing company to remove the image of Gandhi from its labels. After the discussion, the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha and Vice President of India – Venkaiah Naidu – urged External Affairs Minister Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar to take necessary actions against Maika Breweries. Later, the Brand Manager of the company, Gilad Dror, assured New Delhi that Production and Supply of the said bottles were stopped after the Indian embassy raised the complaint, and efforts are being made to withdraw the product from the market! However, he tried to defend Maika’s Marketing Strategy, saying that the intention of putting Gandhi’s image on the bottle was to honour him!
It is to be noted that other foreign companies, too, had triggered controversies in past by using Gandhi’s image on their products. The US-based New England Brewing Company had apologised to India in 2015 for putting an image resembling the leader, called Gandhi-Bot, on its India Pale Ale drink cans. Later, the company described the beer as an “ideal aid for self-purification and the seeking of truth and love“!
It’s no wonder that the contemporary world, driven by the market, has started including great personalities in their Marketing Strategy, as the market contemplated that emotion would aid in increase of sale.
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