The government today said the Income Tax Department has been asked not to use surnames in media campaigns,amid objection on use of ‘Guptaji’ in a TV advertisement by the Department.
“Considering the perceptional sensitivity of the issue,directions were issued not to use surnames for fictional characters in the media campaigns carried out by the Income Tax Department…,” Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in the Rajya Sabha.
A TV advertisement released by the Department for reminding taxpayers about the last date for payment of advance tax in March 2011 contained a fictional episode of a person,who was addressed as ‘Guptaji’,shown to be raided by tax officials.
Subsequently,representations were received objecting to the use of surname ‘Guptaji’,he said.
“There was nothing in the advertisement to suggest that the conduct of the fictional character was reflective of the conduct of any specific community in general,” Mukherjee said and added,”The use of the name in the advertisement was just by chance”.
He said the empanelled advertising agencies were also advised accordingly.
“Since March,2011 surnames have not been used in the advertisements released by the Income Tax Department,” he added.
He said since the advertisement was a reminder for advance tax due by March 15,2011,its telecast ended on that day.