Footwear Company, Bata, has slapped a legal notice on the movie’s team for using the name of the company
and “damaging its reputation.
In the movie’s trailer, Annu Kapoor, who plays lead actor Akshay Kumar’s opposing lawyer heaps insult on him
by saying “Bata ki chappal pehenkar, tuchhi si terricoat pehen kar, hum se zaban ladata hai? (“You wear Bata
slippers and a shabby coat and dare to argue with me?”)
Interestingly, Kumar endorses the footwear brand Relaxo which is a competitor of Bata. Bata has asked for a
personal apology as well as an apology published in mainstream national newspapers.
Further, they also want them to pull down the ‘allegedly’ derogatory trailer and publish a prominent apology on
all versions of its trailer.
After the Second World War, the brand tried to change their image – they started making moderate quality
shoes. Today, the company is trying to change its brand image yet again.
A similar controversy plagued the makers of the 2010 cop drama Dabangg when the healthcare brand Emami
sued them for depicting their product Zandu Balm in a derogatory light.
Ad Guru Prahlad Kakkar said, “If a dialogue is derogatory to the brand, or gives it a bad name, the company
has all rights to want to take the reference down, the reason being that certain cult dialogues can become a part
of our daily language.”
There are certain movies that use the names of brands with prior permission from the brand and a proper
MoU, which expresses a convergence of will between two or more parties.
If the reference is pushing the brand down, then they would definitely have a problem, but on the other hand, if
it is pushing the brand up, then chances are the filmmakers would get good money for it.