Former Myntra CEO Raises Questions About the Use of Models in E-commerce Advertising Ananth Narayanan, the former CEO of Myntra, has shed light on a prevailing issue in the e-commerce industry. In a recent revelation, he disclosed the results of an experiment that indicated shoppers were more likely to click on products featuring white models, based on clickthrough rates. This marketing strategy had been employed effectively by Myntra in the past, but Narayanan questioned its continued effectiveness and its broader implications for the industry.

The Power of Representation in E-commerce:

Narayanan’s revelation highlights an important aspect of e-commerce advertising—the power of representation. The choice of models in advertising and product displays can significantly influence consumer behavior. The experiment’s findings suggest that, historically, featuring white models in marketing campaigns led to higher clickthrough rates for Myntra.

Changing Dynamics and Questions About the Future:

Narayanan’s concern about the future effectiveness of this strategy stems from the changing dynamics of consumer preferences and the growing awareness of diversity and inclusivity. In recent years, consumers have become more conscious of issues related to diversity and representation, leading to a shift in their expectations from brands.

The question that arises is whether a strategy that may have worked well for e-commerce companies like Myntra in the past remains viable in a world that increasingly values diversity and inclusivity. The findings of the experiment prompt a broader discussion on how companies can strike a balance between marketing effectiveness and addressing the evolving expectations and sensitivities of their customer base.

Examples from Popular Brands:

Narayanan’s revelation serves as a backdrop to the practices of popular brands like Louis Phillipe and Peter England. These brands have also turned to foreign models to achieve higher clickthrough rates in their marketing efforts. It’s a strategy that may be driven by perceived consumer preferences and the desire to maximize engagement, but it is also indicative of the broader conversation about representation in advertising.


The disclosure by Ananth Narayanan highlights the nuanced challenges that e-commerce and fashion brands face in their marketing strategies. The experiment’s findings underscore the historical effectiveness of featuring white models in advertising campaigns. However, it also raises vital questions about the changing dynamics of consumer preferences and the growing demand for diversity and inclusivity in advertising.

As the e-commerce industry continues to evolve, it is becoming increasingly clear that strategies rooted in inclusivity and representation will play a critical role in shaping the future of advertising and marketing. The disclosure serves as a reminder that businesses must adapt to meet the evolving expectations of their customers, recognizing that diversity and representation are not just ethical imperatives but also factors that can impact marketing effectiveness in the long run.

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