Angostura confirms the withdrawal of a controversial advertisement
Angostura Limited has confirmed it has removed a recent advertisement for its Angostura Tamboo rum which has been the subject of outcry from the Hindu community over its use of religious imagery. He said that if the announcement is found to have been an inappropriate use of images, an official apology will be issued from the Angostura Tamboo Instagram page where the post originated.
According to Pandit Satyanand Maharaj, spiritual leader of Satya Anand Ashram in Aranguez, the announcement clearly showed the hands and flute of Lord Krishna, a well-known Hindu symbol. He said the image was sent to him on Monday morning, but when he viewed the brand’s Instagram page later that day, it had been deleted.
“I have no doubt that they acted very wisely to remove it, it would help them deny any kind of apology.
“The imagery is clearly of the type that Lord Krishna uses when playing the flute, the position of the fingers and everything else, even the color blue, they could have chosen any other color, but Krishna is seen as blue, different shades of blue, and so the similarity is just too similar not to have Hindu shades.
Maharaj called for the announcement to be retracted, an apology and the firing of the person(s) involved.
“We continue to be offended that these conglomerates, in addition to encouraging the singing of rum songs, now feel that our deities are fair game to use in the sale of rum. This very often comes up in the TT and no one is not questioned and no one has to pay for these transgressions Our religion is a living religion and we are 22% of the population, Indians are 50% of the population, all we ask is that our religious sensitivities are taken into account when we do these things Apparently they need someone with a cultural and religious background to help them check some of their work.
In an email response to Newsday, Angostura said the announcement was posted on its Tamboo brand page on Instagram, which is operated by an external third-party agency.
“After learning that the ad had the potential to offend the religious group, Angostura immediately requested that it be removed from the Instagram page, as we never intended to disrespect a valued community. We will continue to strive to educate all associated parties on issues related to our national religious and cultural identity.