Top 10 Controversial Ads of India

May 15, 2022


Controversy is a strong word that is associated with the disapproval and outrage of the society over a subject universally. Since the evolution of media, there are a number of movies and advertisements as well as public statements made by prominent personalities that have met with major controversy. Controversy is the dispute among populace  regarding a matter of opinion. In this blog we will discuss about the most Controversial Ads of India so far.


1.Tuff Shoes (1995)

This ad garners the first position in the list of most controversial ads .It was received with plenty of controversy back in 1995 featuring Indian Supermodel Milind Soman and Madhu Sapre as they posed nude for the footwear company ‘Tuff Shoes’. Milind Soman and his then-girlfriend Madhu Sampre , a former Miss India winner back in 1992 wore nothing but a python wrapped around their bodies along with the shoes of the footwear company. The social service branch of Mumbai police registered a case in August 1995 against this advertisement. The Wildlife Protection Act filed a complaint as well against the advertising agency for the illegal usage of a python in an ad.


2. Amul Macho (2007)

This men’s underwear ad by Amul Macho which is a popular men’s inner-wear brand, acquired debate upon it’s release in 2007.

The advert featured Sana Khan and followed by the tag line – ‘Amul macho, Crafted for fantasies’.Pushpinder SIngh was the man behind the idea of this ad.Sana Khan is featured as a washerwoman in a ‘dhobi ghat’ where she pulls out a pulls out a bunch of clothes, starting with a man’s underwear. While washing the under garment , she makes sexual innuendos and ‘yeh to Bada toing Hai’ is the audio that is played throughout the advert.Ministry of Information and Broadcasting  banned this ad temporarily, considering it ‘indecent, vulgar and suggestive’.



3. Calida (1998)

Calida is an international Swiss inner-wear and night-wear brand. Bipasha Basu and Dino Morea were featured in this advertisement where Dino Morea is tugging Bipasha Basu’s underwear with his teeth.

This print advertisement was faced with immense amount of controversy, especially by some Women’s Rights Organization in India, to the extent that it was banned.


4. Kalyan Jewellers (2007)

This 2015 Print advertisement by Kalyan Jewellers stirred an enormous amount of controversy, showcasing Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as the regal beauty alongside a scrawny and dark-skinned kid carrying an umbrella for her.


The ad was considered to be promoting child labour as well as racism. Kalyan Jewellers posted on their Facebook page: “The creative was intended to present the royalty, timeless beauty and elegance. However, if we have inadvertently hurt the sentiments of any individual or organization, we deeply regret the same. We have started the process of withdrawing this creative from our campaign. “The aforementioned ad was brought to notice by a feminist activist. When Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was questioned regarding the advertisement, she stated that the bona fide image was altered by the brand itself.


5. Wild Stone Deodrant Commercial (2007)

This controversial ad followed the tag line ‘Wild by nature’ and showcased  a Bengali ceremony being held at a mansion. A male model wears the Wild Stone deodrant and stumbles upon a Bengali female.

On encountering the seductive smell of the deodorant, the two have sex, and then the woman departs, continuing with the ceremony chores.

6. Kama Sutra Condoms (1991)

This 1991 Kama Sutra ad by JK Industries featuring Pooja Bedi as the female lead and and Mark Robinson as the male lead was shot by Prabuddha Dasgupta. It is said that Pooja Bedi used this advert as a medium to spread awareness regarding AIDS.

This ad gained controversy due to it being considered  little too vulgar due to it’s sexual content.

7. Levis Stuck on You (2008)

This ‘Stuck on You’ ad campaign by Levis featuring Kangana Ranaut , lying on top of a shirtless male model in a bikini bra.

Both of the Kangana as well as the male model are Levi’s jeans, promoting the brand itself, lying at the terrace under the cloudy sky.


8. AC Black Apple Juice (2002)

AC Black Apple Juice ad in 2002 was received with controversy. IN the ad, a man is featured sitting at bar checking out a woman, with every swig he takes of the drink, the woman’s neckline goes inwards.

This ad was basically featured during Cricket World Cup to uplift sales of the product. This ad was instantly banned and the company had to face a major contempt.

9. Lux Cozi (2007)

This ad was presented with controversy by the The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

It was received with a red flag and was banned as it was considered indecent, sordid and suggestive. Lox Cozi is a popular men’s under garment company and released this ad back in 2007.

10. Ford Figo (2013)

This Print ad of 2013 by auto-maker company Ford garnered much criticism as it was released at a time when the public was demanding stern women’s safety measures.

This ad featured women tied with ropes and tapes , unable to speak or make any action, placed in the trunk of Ford Figo.It was faced with much criticism by the people and the media.

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