"Access restricted only to holders of international passports."
This tagline has landed ice cream major Haagen Dazs in more of the a scoop of trouble than it has bargained for.
The ad, prominently displayed at a South Delhi mall, just ahead of the US brand's first outlet in the country was meant to tell Indians that they can get a taste of the international best right here in India. Instead, it has raised a storm after a blogger who noticed it at the Dazs' Delhi outlet posted a picture onto the internet triggering a serious of comments and discussions - a virtual campaign that had Indians twittering away
Even off the net, the comments are coming in.
"I have been a fan of Haagen Dazs and I have eaten in many places. But I don't think it is appropriate to restrict anybody saying that you are an international traveller and all that," said a shopper in Mumbai.
Another shopper added, "They must have no expected such kind of an outburst. It's very very wrong."
For its part, General Mills, the company that distributes Haagen Dazs in India has apologized calling the wording of the ad an error in execution.
Speaking to NDTV, Anindo Mukherji, Managing Director, General Mills clarified, "I want to make it clear that no one has been stopped from entering our outlet. This was a poster made for the opening of our store in Delhi and yes I have to accept that there has been a serious error in the wording of the ad and yes we apologise for it. We have brought Haagen Dazs to India because we want Indians to enjoy this international ice cream."
The company will now be hoping this quick apology will help undo at least some of the damage creative licence has caused, besides wishing that the bad taste in the minds of their prospective target audience will not linger on.