Myntra, the popular Indian fashion e-commerce company had rolled into quite the storm recently over its logo. Naaz Ekta Patel, a Mumbai-based social activist sent the company a legal notice then, stating that the ‘M’ in its logo was insulting and offensive to women.
According to the activist, the ‘M’ in the logo depicted a naked woman and called for the company to change the logo.
While the company responded to the complaint positively, and promised they’d change the logo in a month’s time, the reaction from the Internet peeps proved that not many other than the activist may have even noticed the alleged naked woman until then. Adding to the amusement about the whole incident was that even when the company changed the logo, as promised, not many could spot the difference between the old and new logos!
While many think the complaint and the company’s changed creative are rather silly, some consider it as a great publicity stunt.
A matter of perspective
We spoke to Naaz, the activist who filed the legal notice against the company. Talking about the issue with the logo, she elaborates, "I don’t have a problem with the letter ‘M’ or any other letters in the logo, but one can figure what’s wrong with the logo on a big screen. To me, the shades of the colour used in the centre of the colourful M in the logo resemble blood, making the logo look like a woman delivering. While I found it distasteful, I even asked a couple of people about their opinion, and they agreed. I am sure the logo was not done deliberately, but I felt it wasn’t right. I immediately spoke to my legal team and DCP Dr Rashmi Karandikar and realised they also had an objection with the logo. So we sent a notice to the company."
However, Myntra did not respond to the notice immediately, Naaz tells us. "That is when the DCP Dr Karandikar sent a mail from her email address. The company accepted that there was a problem in the logo and promised to change it."
However, Naaz appears a little surprised at all the conversations about the old and new logos and her part in showing her point of view. "The whole thing happened rather simply, but a few trolls and some sections of the media decided to portray it in such a way that people seemed to not have any problem about the old logo and began trolling me instead," says Naaz defending herself. "I just feel this ruckus around me is just not right and that they are forcing upon me the publicity they claim I am trying to seek. I mean, if any person raises a voice against any contentious issue that person will get trolled so much that he or she might consider committing suicide."
Many we spoke to shared their opinion, and most of them agreed the complaint against the old logo was unnecessary
The perfect publicity
Nowadays, someone is always getting offended over something or the other, which is a problem at national and international levels. To me, honestly, this just feels like a publicity stunt. There is something called ‘brand recall’ for which brands pay millions in currency. So, in this case, I feel one of the things that worked out in Myntra’s favour with all this so-called controversy was that by ‘changing the logo’, which was essentially them changing the overlap structure of the colours, many people are now talking about Myntra, which has garnered them enough publicity. In terms of activism, back in the days, advertisements were rather straight forward and jovial, and people were okay with satires in the ads."
— Tushar Kalawatia, an advertising professional
It was ‘sexualisation’
It wouldn’t have crossed my mind on seeing the logo before, but after this case came out, I must confess I do see the point. It shows how subconsciously brands are sexualising and stereotyping. I am not sure if it was intentional on the part of the company or a case of bad design. Anyway, I do think it is important to see the insidious ways brands and its image works on people’s minds. I also think Myntra should reimagine a new logo and new narrative.
— Anusha Bharadwaj, executive director of Voice 4 Girls
When I spoke to people about this, many told me that they considered the logo was empowering and thought that such empowering logos were also a kind of activism. So, I honestly don’t really understand what activism is going on here because I don’t think this mattered so much to people. At the end of the day, Myntra seems to have got a lot of free publicity because of this whole thing.
— Vivek Muralidharan, a stand-up comedian