Jack & Jones Sexist Ad with Ranveer
Jack & Jones Ad - pulled from India due to depiction of sexual harassment

If you’re the marketing head of a divison, a line of business, or region you have probably cursed the need for approval of your marketing campaign by head office. You’ve probably railed against the oppressiveness of the corporate brand guidelines and the need for glocalization. As a former global brand manager myself (of Infosys, since you ask) I sympathise with you. Your creativity feels stunted and every approval seems to take months.

But then you see an ad like the recent one by Jack & Jones with Ranveer and you wonder what were they thinking/drinking/smoking when they approved this retro and retrograde ad? It blatantly promotes sexual harassment which is illegal in India and in the brand’s home country of Denmark. I believe that marketers can’t have morals but they need to stick within the legal framework of their host country.  Jack & Jones’ stance that this was an ad done by their Indian arm and that they have pulled it, just doesn’t cut it. It points to very slipshod oversight of their advertising process.
The only good thing is that they haven’t claimed their account was hacked.

Even their choice of agency, Marching Ants, is surprising. They seem to be very embedded in the Bollywood film industry which would explain the presence of Ranveer in the ad. I’m all for using local agencies – heck, we’re one too – but with global oversight to make sure the befikar doesn’t become bewakoof.

Here are the 5 must-dos for Global Brands:

Put down a clear set of topics or themes that are acceptable. If you’re a brand that likes to be contrarian, also put down the things it is ok to rail against in your public communication.
A checklist of ‘global values’ – if you have a set of company values which says things like “we are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate on the basis of religion, gender …” make sure your communication is in line with that too
Ensure all brand custodians -external and internal – undergo a training program -online is fine – to ensure they understand your brand promise. They need to do a self-assessment and pass that test before being given the right to use the logo.
An approval process for all external communication themes that ensures that it is in line with both global and local legal requirements
Periodic random checks to ensure compliance

Jack & Jones Sexist Ad with Ranveer
Jack & Jones Ad – pulled from India due to depiction of sexual harassment
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Jessie Paul

Jessie Paul is the Founder and CEO of Paul Writer, a firm she founded in early 2010 to raise the bar for marketing in India. Previously, as Chief Marketing Officer of Wipro’s IT business and as Global Brand Manager at Infosys, Jessie has been recognized for her contribution towards putting the Indian IT industry on the global map. With over 18 years in services marketing, including a stint with Ogilvy & Mather Advertising, Jessie is considered an expert in brand globalization and has been named one of the most influential business women in the Indian IT industry.



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