Indian Diaspora appreciates Remitly for removing controversial advt displaying flag on station floor

"I wanted to share that the creative was removed today and can confirm there are no other placements like this on the floor. I'm very sorry again for the offense and distress caused."

An advertisement by the global money transfer service, Remitly, had sparked public outcry in the Indian diaspora community.

The advt, prominently displayed on the floor of Parramatta station in New South Wales (NSW), features the national flags including India.

After The Australia Today story, Paramatta station staff put a barricade on the controversial advt requesting people not to walk near the area.

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Further, Remitly’s Ryan Riley, Ryan Riley, VP and E&A Marketing, assured the Indian-Australian community that the concerned advt placement at Paramatta station has been removed:

“I wanted to share that the creative was removed today and can confirm there are no other placements like this on the floor. I’m very sorry again for the offense and distress caused. Thanks so much for letting us know about this.”

Additionally, after public outcry, Andrew Charlton, Federal Member for Paramatta, wrote a letter to Matt Oppenheimer, Chief Executive Officer at Remitly, highlighting the “problematic placement” and the sensitivities surrounding national symbols in public advertising.

The use and display of the Indian flag in advert are governed by strict regulations under the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971, and the Flag Code of India, 2002. According to these guidelines, India’s flag must be treated with the utmost respect and dignity, prohibiting its placement on the floor or any location where it could be walked upon or subjected to disrespect.

This controversy came to light when a concerned commuter, whose brother travels by this train station, noticed the Indian flag and shared his shock on social media.

The commuter stated in a now-viral post:

“My brother travels by train and informed me that Parramatta station got an advertisement from Remitly that shows our flag and he couldn’t digest the thousands of people walking over it.”

Indian-origin commuters and residents expressed outrage over the perceived disrespect as thousands of people unknowingly walk over the flag daily.

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“This is more than just an advertisement; it’s a matter of national pride and respect,” said one Parramatta local to The Australia Today.

“Seeing our flag being walked on daily is deeply hurtful and unacceptable.”

Community members, social media users, and local advocacy groups who have have rallied together, calling for immediate action to remove the advt are happy and hopeful that businesses would be a bit more careful in the use of national symbols and not clash with cultural norms and values that hold the national emblem in high regard.

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