EDITORIAL: Cadbury's leaves bitter taste in India

If ever the value of a PR voice in the marketing mix should be doubted, one should refer back to the unfortunate case of confectioner Cadbury's controversial Indian ad for its Temptations chocolate bar.

The ad, which suggested the disputed Kashmir region between India and Pakistan is - like the chocolate bar - 'too good to share,' was made by a local ad agency and signed off by the marketing department of Cadbury India - a department that Cadbury Schweppes admits contains no PR staff.

While the ad creatives were unable to see beyond a rather crude joke - which spectacularly misjudged popular sensitivities over a region where violent unrest has claimed, on average, 1,000 lives a year for five decades - a PRO in the office would surely have erred on the side of caution.

The PR disaster inherent in selling chocolate through jokes about a conflict that has killed 50,000 people, suggests it will not be long before Cadbury's forms a PR arm for its Indian operations.

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