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HDFC Accused of Stealing Artist's 'Vigil Aunty' Comic Character in Safe Banking Campaign

By: Buzz Staff


Last Updated: August 19, 2022, 16:47 IST

india, India

Vigil Aunty by @appupen / HDFC.

Vigil Aunty by @appupen / HDFC.

Vigil Aunty, HDFC Bank's new campaign against banking security has caught the eyeballs of Twitter users who are accusing the bank of plagiarism.

Bank frauds are no jokes. A recent report on banking frauds states that 74 percent of Indians have never recovered their money lost in cyber frauds, and the biggest reason for this is unsafe banking practices. To counter this, HDFC Bank launched a campaign aimed at promoting safe banking habits among the people.

The campaign has been cleverly titled ‘Vigil Aunty’- a wordplay around vigilante. Anuradha Menon, who plays the popular character of ‘Lola Kutty’ on television, is the face of the ‘Vigil Aunty’ campaign.

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

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

Although there may be no visual similarity in the design or the message either of the characters seems to be conveying, the fact that the two share an identical name, a unique wordplay at that, didn’t sit so well with many.

The artist, responding to HDFC’s take on ‘Vigil Aunty,’ incorporated the bank’s character in a new, cheeky strip showing her journey from “indie satire comic to mainstream bigbucks advertising.”

Punny 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 inform customers about the various modalities of financial fraudsters and how to stay safe from them.”

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first published:August 19, 2022, 16:47 IST
last updated:August 19, 2022, 16:47 IST