Ratings for Snapdeal’s app on Google Play Store took a beating on Tuesday, as thousands of people took to social media to voice their discontent over Aamir Khan’s remarks against growing intolerance in the country. Apart from giving the app a one-star rating, users also begun running a campaign on social media titled #AppWapsi that urged people to delete the app from their smartphones.
Khan, one of Bollywood’s leading men, is the brand ambassador for the Gurgaon-based e-tailer and has starred in its recent campaigns. “Dear @snapdeal no purchases from your website until U remove @aamir_khan as brand ambassador; uninstalling your app,” said a tweet from Ro shan Kumar. It could not be immediately ascertained whether Snapdeal’s day-to-day business took a hit from the furore. A Snapdeal spokesperson declined to comment.
“This time, the pitch is higher. But celebrities routinely have been in trouble. Take SRK, for instance, with My Name is Khan. However, unless it blows out disproportionately, reactions such as these on social media are usually temporary blips. Snapdeal should lay low and not react apart from perhaps making corporate-sounding statements such as, “We %are watching the situation….” But even after two weeks, if the situation refuses to blow over, they may have to think about something,” said brand expert and MD & CEO of Futurebrands India, Santosh Desai.
Desai said with the proliferation of social media, brands have to engage in fire-fighting more than ever before. “This is the new landscape. Earlier companies could control the landscape. Now, they have to bear the brunt of people talking loosely about them. They must have several levels of responses up their sleeve,” he said.
Desai’s sentiments were echoed by Godrej Group, which was quick to disassociate itself from the 50-year-old actor on Twitter. “Aamir Khan’s contract with Godrej ended in March 2014. The said current views are his personal & in no way connected to us,” the conglomerate tweeted on Tuesday. Khan was a Godrej brand ambassador from 2013 to 2014.