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Hindustan Unilever under fire for Twitter ad portraying Kumbh Mela in negative light

In a post that has already been deleted, HUL called the festival “a place where old people get abandoned” as part of an advertisement

New Delhi: Consumer goods business Hindustan Unilever received a strong negative reaction on social media on Thursday following their Twitter posts portraying the Kumbh Mela in a negative light. In a post that has already been deleted, HUL called the festival “a place where old people get abandoned” as part of an advertisement.

"Kumbh Mela is a place where the old get abandoned, isn't it sad that we do not care for our elders? Red Label encourages us to hold the hands of those who made us who we are. Watch the heartwarming video; an eye opener to a harsh reality," HUL tweeted as part of an ad for its “Red Label Tea.”

Kumbh Mela festival

The biggest religious festival in the world, the Kumbh Mela is held in Uttar Pradesh, where millions of people visit the festival city of Prayagraj to go for a dip at the confluence of the river Ganga, Yamuna, and the mythical Saraswati river.

The advertisement for the company features a son who considers the possibility of abandoning his ageing father in the crowd, but becomes aware of his wrongdoing and returns to share a cup of tea with him.


Many people said the post hurt sentiments of Hindus with several prominent right-wing Twitter handles posting messages demanding a boycott of Hindustan Unilever products with the hashtag "#BoycottHindustanUnilever", which was a top trend on the social media platform during the day.

The advantage over the rival: Baba Ramdev too tweeted 

Yoga guru Ramdev also joined the conversation, with his consumer goods company Patanjali a major rival of HUL. He said on twitter "From East India Co to @HUL_News that’s their true character. Their only agenda is to make the country poor economically & ideologically. Why shld we not boycott them? For them everything, every emotion is just a commodity. For us parents are next to Gods #BoycottHindustanUnilever".

Hindustan Unilever took the post down then reposted it with a message that was inoffensive.