Companies Face Social Media Ire Over Kashmir Tweets
In the case of Hyundai, India’s number two car seller, matters had even led to diplomatic tensions between India and South Korea. (photo Hyundai)
India-West News Desk
NEW DELHI – Several multinationals ranging from Korean, Japanese and American, have now issued public apologies to India for the unauthorized social media activity of their Pakistani partners.
From automakers Hyundai, Toyota and Honda to fast food chains Domino’s and KFC, there have been voices of contrition for tweets and statements expressing support for Kashmiri separatists by the Pakistanis.
A vigilant India public caused an online backlash that caught the companies off guard and on the backfoot. The calls to boycott their products, had the firms scrambling to correct matters.
While issuing an apology, Toyota, Hyundai, and Kia said the Pakistani partners had made unauthorized posts and misused their brands. The carmakers said they had now put measures in place to prevent a recurrence of such incidents. Suzuki too said its business associates had been told to avoid any alignment with political or religious groups.
Hyundai said it “is clearly against Hyundai Motor’s policy that the independently-owned distributor in Pakistan made unauthorized Kashmir-related social media posts from their own accounts. Once the situation was brought to our attention, we made the distributor acutely aware of the inappropriateness of the action. We have since taken measures to ensure the distributor, which misused the Hyundai brand identity, has removed the social media posts and we have put in place processes to prevent a future recurrence. Our subsidiary, Hyundai Motor India, is not associated with the distributor in Pakistan, and we strongly reject the distributor’s unauthorized non-business related social media activity.
KFC said, “We deeply apologize for a post that was published on some KFC social media channels outside the country. We honor and respect India, and remain steadfast in our commitment to serving all Indians with pride.”
Dominos was equally contrite saying it, “is committed to the Indian market, having called it home for more than 25 years, and has the utmost respect for the people, culture and spirit of nationalism of the country. We regret and apologize for the unsolicited social media post published on Domino’s social media handles outside the country. As a brand, we honour and respect India and remain deeply committed to serving our customers and communities with humility, gratitude, and pride.”