Snapdeal’s app has been downgraded by users on the Google Play Store for the e-commerce marketplace’s affiliation with Bollywood actor Aamir Khan. The move is as a protest towards statements made by the actor with regard to the rising wave of intolerance in the country.
The 50-year old actor on Monday said that his wife Kiran Rao had spoken to him about moving out of the country, fearing the prevailing security environment in the country due to a growing wave intolerance. Protesters have begun offering one-star ratings for the company’s app on the Play Store to voice their discontent with Snapdeal’s affiliation with the actor. The have also begun a social media campaign to promote others to uninstall the app christening the movement as #AppWapsi.
Snapdeal declined to comment on the situation at the time of writing the article.
The company roped in Aamir Khan as its brand ambassador back in March this year. The endorsement fee was estimated to be between Rs 15-20 crore and Snpadeal launch him as its ambassador through an extensive television ad campaign.
“Social media today is the new media. It is a quick, decisive and often a hurtful media. Consumers are very judgemental and social media allows them to go after brands unfairly. This was bound to happen, as people can only hit out at a star through the brands they endorse,” said Harish Bijoor, brand consultant.
Khan made the statement while speaking at the Ramnath Goenka Awards function organised by The Indian Express. “When I chat with Kiran at home, she says ‘Should we move out of India?’ That's a disastrous and big statement for Kiran to make. She fears for her child. She fears about what the atmosphere around us will be,” he said.
Snapdeal’s chief rival Flipkart faced a similar assault from users for supporting Airtel Zero, the zero-rating service which was seen as violating net neutrality norms. Facing backlash from users on social networks and on the Play Store, Flipkart soon withdrew itself from participating in the programme.