Mar 14, 2019

Indian online detergent boycott misfires

The advert for Surf Excel uses the upcoming Hindu spring festival of Holi to illustrate a story about cross-communal harmony, India's Telegraph newspaper reports. Critics of the advert have organised complaints against Hindustan Unilever Ltd, who make Surf Excel, accusing its Colours Unite advert of being "Anti-Hindu" and "Anti-national". Some of their followers have confused the washing powder with Microsoft Excel, giving the mobile spreadsheet app single-star ratings on the Google Play Store - much to the amusement of other social-media users. The Times of India reports that "Some good Samaritans" have been giving five-star ratings to the Microsoft Excel app, in order to "Counter out-of-context reviews". The Surf Excel advert has attracted many online defenders, some of them very high-profile.

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