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Cadbury Apologizes for Ad in India

August 22, 2002

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BOMBAY, India (AP) _ Confectionery giant Cadbury has apologized for an advertisement that compared disputed Indian-controlled Kashmir region to a chocolate that was ``too good to share.″

The ad appeared in a Bombay newspaper on Aug. 15, India’s Independence Day, and featured a map highlighting the boundaries of India’s Jammu-Kashmir state _ the Indian-controlled part of a region both countries claim as their own. Dispute over the province has resulted in two wars between the nuclear-armed neighbors.

Below the map, the ad reads ``Issued in the spirit of Independence Day by Cadbury Temptations _ International chocolates you’d love to share but won’t.″

Members of India’s ruling polical party, Bharatiya Janata Party, stormed into the company’s office in Bombay that day, accusing the company of trivializing the Kashmir issue.

``It was not in good taste,″ said the president of BJP’s Bombay branch, Vinod Tawde. ``Hot and sensitive issues like Kashmir, where thousands of people and soldiers have laid down their lives should not be a topic for an ad,″ he said.

Cadbury India issued a written apology to BJP members. Director R.B. Menon said the advertisement was issued ``entirely in good faith with no intention whatsoever to offend the sentiments of the public.″

``In case sentiments have been hurt, we sincerely apologize,″ it said.

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