Poonam Pandey claims stakeholders of fake death stunt ‘got shivers’ sent her legal notice

In a turn of events that has both shocked and appalled the public, model and actress Poonam Pandey recently became the center of a maelstrom of controversy after staging her own death due to cervical cancer in an attempt to spread awareness about the disease. The news that initially stunned her followers and caused a significant ripple through the nation was later revealed to be a fabricated narrative—a marketing campaign aiming to get people talking about a serious health issue. While this strategy succeeded in drawing attention, it was met with intense criticism, resulting in unforeseen legal repercussions for Pandey.

Days after the campaign, which included a somber death announcement on her Instagram account followed by a video revelation that she was, in fact, alive and intended to educate about cervical cancer, Pandey took down the posts involved in the stunt. Following this, she made a bold allegation on social media that her team had received a legal notice from the stakeholders of the controversial campaign, implying that truth would prevail. Pandey, amidst the turmoil, invoked prayers with a praying hands emoji attached to her claim on Instagram.

As the ripples of the incident spread, Schbang, the digital marketing agency behind the campaign, issued a formal apology. They expressed their remorse not only to the general public but to their team, partners, friends, and anyone considering a career in advertising, admitting that though their intentions may have been nobly aimed at creating awareness, the means by which they sought such awareness did not justify their actions. Furthermore, Schbang expressed gratitude toward The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) for their guidance in correcting the agency’s errors and establishing a stronger framework for evaluating future campaigns.

The legal difficulties for Pandey did not stop with the withdrawal of the campaign or the agency’s apology. Reports suggest that a defamation lawsuit with claims amounting to Rs 100 crore has been filed against Poonam Pandey and her former husband Sam Bombay by Faizan Ansari. The plaintiff, as stated by Pinkvilla, accused Pandey of demeaning the gravity of cancer and deceiving numerous supporters by orchestrating her own demise. Ansari pleaded for their immediate arrest, bringing his complaint before the Kanpur Police Commissioner.

Ansari’s FIR painted a grim picture of the accused’s intentions, arguing that the stunt was a calculated move for self-promotion, which not only belittled a harrowing illness but also eroded the trust placed by the Indian populace and the Bollywood industry at large.

To rewind to the inception of the controversy, on February 2nd, Poonam Pandey’s Instagram feed was updated with the distressing announcement of her passing due to cervical cancer. It was a false alarm designed to shock and evoke sympathy, a prelude to the message she intended to convey: the preventability and curability of cervical cancer.

By asserting her livelihood the following day, Pandey sought to use her influence to underscore the significance of awareness and early detection of cervical cancer. She pointed out that, unlike other forms of cancer, cervical cancer can be treated but lamented the lives lost due to ignorance and lack of information.

Pandey’s awareness strategy, while arguably impactful in terms of raising awareness, has opened a Pandora’s box of ethical questions and legal challenges. Her tactics have been scrutinized and condemned, ultimately leading to what can only be described as a chaotic aftermath—a stark reminder that the fine line between creative campaigning and ethical responsibility should never be crossed, especially when it comes to matters as sensitive and critical as public health.

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