We’ve had the great and the good from the Mumbai film industry refuse, frequently, to accept responsibility for encouraging violent social behaviour, smoking and other vices through their doubtless well-performed appearances in films and advertisements. However, there are certain car advertisements that should be given a second look,keeping in mind the car accident near India Gate early this morning. I’m referring to the car ads in which Shah Rukh Khan is shown racing against a female driver and another in which Saif Ali Khan tries all kinds of driving stunts to persuade Rani Mukherjee to join him for a coffee. Car makers should remember that:
- India has the world’s worst drivers--they don’t follow rules and use the horn indiscriminately.
- India also has, or will soon have, a high traffic density on its roads.
- India also has a large group of young drivers, who think nothing of drinking and driving. Look at the four young people involved in the accident early this morning--all of them college students!
Hence the need for car manufacturers to advertise responsibly. Please include a disclaimer (similar to that shown in the Coca Cola India ad.) advising drivers not to follow the stunts shown in television advertisements. Although I quite agree with the young lady in the ad when she hits the injured driver’s broken leg--he’d driven very dangerously indeed to lay his hands on a Coke bottle.