Ads for the World Cup have to grab eyeballs, which means they tend to go above and beyond what’s considered ‘safe’ for audiences. Controversy sells, but a recent ad released in Pakistan to build hype for the June 16 clash was in truly poor taste. 


The ad shows a man made to look like Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, replete with trademark moustache and also sporting a blue jersey, like the Indian cricket team.

He is asked several cricket related questions, to which he repeats Abhinandan’s famous statement,

I’m sorry, I am not supposed to tell you this.

He also sips tea from a cup, just like in the video released by the Pakistani military, where he was shown being questioned after being beaten up.

Obviously, a lot of people were displeased.

Considering the entire Balakot strike and the subsequent Abhinandan saga was such a sensitive issue, making light of a situation where a man’s life could have been lost is really stooping to new lows. The ad also has racist overtones, as the man’s face has also been blackened.


It’s 2019, and distasteful ads like this have no place here.