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Wednesday, 21 August, 2002, 09:51 GMT 10:51 UK
Anger over Kashmir chocolate ad
Dairy milk bars
A chocolate company in India has apologised after one of its adverts caused outrage among some Hindu nationalists with its reference to the Kashmir dispute.

The advertisement was put out by Cadbury India to promote its Temptations range of chocolates.


Kashmir is a very sensitive issue

Vinod Tawde

It showed a map of India with the words "Too good to share" printed across the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

But following an outburst by a local right-wing politician in India's commercial capital, Bombay, the company issued a statement offering its "sincere apologies".

Kashmir heartburn

Published in an English-language daily newspaper, it was timed to coincide with Independence Day on 15 August.

But the reference to Kashmir, which is at the heart of a tense stand-off between nuclear neighbours India and Pakistan, has not amused some.

"Kashmir is a very sensitive issue and thousands of [Indian] soldiers have sacrificed their lives for it," Vinod Tawde of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said.

"Such ads just trivialise the issue. How can an ad campaign, in the name of creativity, even imply that Kashmir is a state to be shared?" Mr Tawade, whose party governs India, asked.

Regret

Cadbury India has apologised for the advertisement.

"The press advertisement for Cadbury Temptations was issued entirely in good faith with no intention whatsoever to offend the sentiments of the public," a company statement said.

"We offer sincere apologies to any section of the public that may have been offended by this advertisement."

India and Pakistan have come close to conflict in the past few months over Kashmir.

The two countries have gone to war twice over the region since independence 55 years ago.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Graham Hales, Interbrand
"Not all publicity is good publicity"
Roger Haywood, Public Relations Standard Council
"It doesn't do any good to insult or upset your customers"
The BBC's Adam Mynott
"It's gone down like a lead balloon"
See also:

13 Feb 02 | Business
12 Feb 01 | South Asia
06 Aug 02 | South Asia
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