Puma to restore Delhi heritage site defaced during ad campaign to original form

After facing backlash for defacing a Delhi heritage building in an ad campaign, German sportswear brand Puma has directed the agency responsible for causing the damage to restore the building to its original condition.

The agency attributed the confusion to the property owner, who allegedly did not know that the building was a heritage site - Puma

The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) had accused the sportswear company of permanently damaging the building with the graffiti painting for its latest ad campaign ‘Suede Gully’. The building is categorised as a ‘haveli’ (palace), according to the supplementary list of 554 Heritage Sites on the Delhi government’s website.

“The law clearly states that no development or alteration shall be allowed without permission from different authorities, including vice-chairman of the DDA, and commissioner of the municipality. The building was painted very inappropriately causing permanent damage to the carved sandstone, limestone plaster and Lahori bricks,” Swapna Liddle, Delhi convenor from INTACH told the Indian Express.

When FashionNetwork.com (FNW) reached out to Puma, the company said that any disrespect to national heritage properties in India was completely unintentional and that they have advised their creative agency to restore the building to its original condition and also keep the authorities in the loop.

Puma redirected further enquiries to Balancing Act, the production agency for the campaign.

A spokesperson from the agency told FashionNetwork.com: “We are proud of our country's heritage and would always act in its best interest as per our knowledge. We are all the taking necessary steps to restore the heritage site to its original form.”
The agency agreed that the building in question is indeed a heritage site and no permissions were taken from any of the authorities mentioned above by Liddle, attributing the confusion to the property owner’s ignorance.

“The matter was yesterday brought to our notice by our client, DDB Mudra Group (the creative agency of PUMA) that the said property is a heritage building. We told the owner of the same yesterday and he was not aware that his property had been protected as a heritage site,” the spokesperson told FashionNetwork.com.
“We are now working with the owner to adhere to the guidelines established by Conservation of Heritage Sites including Heritage Buildings, Heritage precincts and Natural feature areas: Town & Country Planning Organization Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India”, the spokesperson added.
The ‘Suede Gully’ campaign features 7 street artists, 8 rappers and 36 hip-hop dancers with music by Sneha Khanwalkar and is promoted as a celebration of Indian culture by the brand.

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