On 3 February 2024, digital agency Shabang acknowledged its role in a controversial campaign on Instagram aimed at raising awareness about cervical cancer, for which model and actress Poonam Pandey faked her death. This was done in partnership with media outlet Hotterfly. The agency has now expressed regret over this. Especially towards those people who have been affected by cancer. The company behind Poonam Pandey’s fake death stunt has issued an apology. The statement read, “Yes, we were involved in Poonam Pandey’s initiative to spread awareness about cervical cancer in collaboration with Hotterfly. For this we would like to sincerely apologize – especially to those who have suffered this disease. And from those who have lost their loved ones due to this disease.”
The statement also tells how Poonam Pandey’s mother fought cancer. “Many of you may not know but Poonam’s own mother has bravely fought cancer. Having personally gone through the challenges of fighting such a disease, she understands the importance of prevention and awareness. “Especially when a vaccine exists.”
Shabang admitted to organizing the stunt in which Poonam Pandey faked her death. Due to which online searches related to cervical cancer increased. He said, “This is the first time in the history of this country that the word ‘cervical cancer’ is in more than 1000 headlines.” Despite its success in terms of search trends, the agency apologized for any inconvenience caused by the campaign.
Cinema workers’ organization will file FIR against Poonam Pandey
Poonam Pandey chose a different way to raise awareness about cervical cancer. On February 2, news spread that the model-actor had died due to cervical cancer. However, the All Indian Cine Workers Association did not like this. He has demanded that an FIR be registered against the model-actor because of how he took advantage of her death. The news of Poonam Pandey’s ‘death’ was confirmed by her manager. His team confirmed this through an official announcement on Instagram.