HDFC Accused Of Stealing Entertainer’s ‘Vigil Aunty’ Comedy Character In Secure Banking Campaign

Bank frauds are no jokes. A recent report on bank fraud indicates that 74% of Indians have never recovered their money lost in cyber fraud, and the main reason for this is unsafe banking practices. To counter this, HDFC Bank launched a campaign to promote safe banking habits among the population.

The campaign was cleverly titled “Vigil Aunty” – a pun around the vigilante. Anuradha Menon, who plays the popular character “Lola Kutty” on TV, is the face of the “Vigil Aunty” campaign.

The bank’s intentions may have been in the right place to protect fellow Indians from online fraud, but their campaign title already exists in the world of @appupen, artist and author of The Halahala Dimension. This was pointed out by journalist Anindita Ghose on Twitter.

“@HDFC_Bank’s new campaign is stupidly taken from Indian graphic novelist Appupen/@WorldOfHalahala. If only they knew his ‘Vigil Aunties’ are ‘women who support men who support tyranny’.

While there may not be any visual similarity in design or the message either character seems to convey, the fact that the two share an identical name, a unique pun on top of that , did not sit well with many.

The artist, responding to HDFC’s take on ‘Vigil Aunty’, has incorporated the bank character into a cheeky new strip showing his journey from ‘indie satirical comics to mainstream advertising’.

Damn coincidence?

Meanwhile, according to the bank, since ‘Vigil Aunty’ will be a social media influencer, she will maintain a constant presence in the digital ecosystem and “continue to educate customers on the different modalities of financial fraudsters and the way to stay safe from them”. ”

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