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BIG Pharmacy apologises for insensitive promo ad on social

BIG Pharmacy apologises for insensitive promo ad on social

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Malaysian healthcare store BIG Pharmacy has apologised for posting an insensitive promotional video on social media, after it was said to have contained offensive and hurtful content towards Indians.  

This comes after a video featuring a conversation between an Indian cashier staff, who was played by a Chinese actor, and a consumer went viral online. The actor was said to have put on a stereotypical Indian accent and mannerisms while scanning the price of items at the counter with a hand-drawn "bindi" on his forehead. 

According to an official statement posted on BIG Pharmacy’s Facebook page, it said it recognised the hurtful and offensive nature of this content and claimed full responsibility for its lack of due diligence.  

“The content in question goes against our values of diversity and inclusivity and we have already taken immediate steps to address this issue internally to ensure that such a situation does not happen again,” the statement reads.  

“We are, and have always been, committed to inclusion and respect. This mistake is one that we take seriously, will learn from, and improve as we serve all members of our community. We will do better to ensure that our content is respectful, sensitive, and representative of the vibrant cultures within our community,” the company said.  

The video has since then been removed. However, the incident has drawn negative sentiments from netizens. A check by MARKETING-INTERACTIVE saw the video, shared by a user on X (formerly Twitter), has garnered over 3.8m views on X since 26 October, with 2.1k reposts and 413 comments. Some netizens said they found the video disgusting and suggested to remove it from social platforms.  

“Not an Indian but a Cinapek and I find this disgusting and racist to the core...but there are many ways to get some clicks, this is definitely not one of them,” a netizen said on X.  

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BIG Pharmacy is not the first Malaysian company that came under fire following an insensitive video ad. Back in last August, Halal sushi chain Nippon Sushi Malaysia issued a statement to address a viral TikTok video done in collaboration with local influencer CEO Batu to promote the opening of its outlet in Penang.

The video began with the influencer mocking the Japanese language, where he replied to a comment in Japanese by using well known Japanese brands such as "Toshiba" and "Daikin" in his reply. He also taped his eyes to make them appear slanted. The video has been taken down from Nippon Sushi's official websites but was still up on CEO Batu's TikTok account.

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