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Naukri not to withdraw 'Hari Sadu' ad
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | March 27, 2006 20:34 IST
Sanjeev Bhikchandani, chief executive of the naukri.com, has said his organisation will not withdraw the 'controversial' advertisement that made an 11-year-old boy from Chandigarh, named Hari Bhanot, send a legal notice to his Web site and demand a compensation of Rs 1 crore (Rs 10 million).
Hari Bhanot, in his legal notice, has claimed Rs 1 crore from naukri.com because of the harassment he has faced from his school mates owing to the similarity in name. He has asked naukri.com to remove the advertisement that is currently running on television.
The boy said that he had become an object of ridicule in his school because of the ad, which shows a person spelling out the name 'H-A-R-I' on the phone as: 'H' for Hitler, 'A' for Arrogant, 'R' for Rascal, 'I' for Idiot.
Speaking to rediff.com, Sanjeev Bhikchandani said that there was no question of giving in to such 'threats'. "There is no case pending against us. It is only a legal notice and we will deal with it. We are not withdrawing the advertisement," he said.
"In the light of recent news coverage regarding the 'Hari Sadu' advertisement which has been running on television, we would like to state that the advertisement is a work of fiction and the characters and situations are fictional and do not in any way represent a situation close to an 11-year-old.
"Hari Sadu is a work of imagination and has been created to be a caricature representative of a pesky and arrogant boss, and in it's over emphasising the not-so-refined qualities of the boss lies the humour. Clearly the scene played out in the advertisement has borrowed from the typical Hindi film formula of villain, hero and supporting actor (hero)," naukri.com said in a written statement.
"Making advertisements requires the use of a 'creative license' and while we do sympathise with the child in question here, we must also point out that the character in question here is not 'Hari,' but 'Hari Sadu.' Surnames exist to distinguish individuals bearing common first names. Interestingly the name 'Hari Sadu' was selected after looking at phone books and an extensive Google search and finding nobody of that name, in order to minimise causing any offense to anyone inadvertently," the company said.
"Naukri.com is in no way responsible or liable for the fact that Master Hari Bhanot is being teased by his friends," the company added.
Naukri.com's gross income is expected to touch Rs 80 crore (Rs 800 million) in 2006-2007.
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