Court orders Rapido to take down Allu Arjun's controversial ad
A Telangana court has ordered bike taxi company Rapido to take down an advertisement starring Telugu superstar Allu Arjun. The court held that the ad allegedly was defamatory to the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC). The controversial ad had directly compared Rapido's service with the TSRTC buses by featuring an actual Telangana bus. Earlier, the TSRTC had sent a notice to the firm.
Why does this story matter?
In its first-ever celebrity endorsement campaign, Rapido roped in Arjun (Telugu version) and Ranveer Singh (Hindi). In both versions, the actors played roadside shop owners who advise people to ride Rapido bikes than crowded buses. But in the Telugu ad, a TSRTC bus was clearly shown in the advertisement, thus angering the Corporation. Upon receiving a legal notice, Rapido had slightly modified the ad.
TSRTC wanted ad withdrawn, Rapido had slightly modified it instead
Every morning we have two choices.— Rapido (@rapidobikeapp) November 15, 2021
To wait in line at the bus stop travel as a human sandwich
OR, to waltz through traffic not smelling like a hundred armpits.
So as Guru a.k.a. @alluarjun rightly says- Ato, ito, eto ekkei Rapido! #SmartHoTohRapido #AlluArjun pic.twitter.com/kT8kXswZ8S
YouTube must also take down ad from its platform: Court
Since the firm did not withdraw the commercial as requested in the notice but modified it, TSRTC approached the court. Now, the Xth Junior Civil Judge of the City Civil Court, Nampally, Hyderabad has restrained the company and its associates from "telecasting, broadcasting, streaming, reproducing, distributing" both the "original and modified" versions of the ad. Even YouTube has been ordered to take it down.
'Everyone should own [TSRTC] up as their own, not defame'
As per reports, the order came Friday but the ads are still up on Rapido's social media pages. TSRTC Managing Director, VC Sajjanar, reacted to the order, noting, "It [TSRTC] is our social asset and everyone should own it up as their own and help maintain its smooth functioning and not defame it in any manner whatsoever." He had previously lambasted the ad online.
Separately, trailer for 'Pushpa' is coming out tomorrow
No immediate reaction from Rapido has come as of now. Meanwhile, the bike app released a new set of ads with the two actors recently. Here, both Arjun and Singh can be seen as barbers again advising people to ride Rapido bikes, instead of autorickshaws. Separately, Tollywood's Bunny will soon greet us with Pushpa on December 17 with its trailer coming out tomorrow.