An advertising campaign for potato chips that featured the actor Ashton Kutcher playing an “Indian” character named “Raj” in brown makeup with a sing-song accent appears to have been pulled after drawing heavy criticism from Indian-Americans the day it started.

The $1.5 million campaign, developed by the chip company Popchips, Mr. Kutcher and the ad agency Zambezi, and promoted by Alison Brod PR, featured Mr. Kutcher as four different male characters looking for love: a white, dreadlocked Brit named Nigel, a Karl Lagerfeld look alike, a tattooed, flannel-shirt-wearing guy with a beard named Swordfish and “Raj.” As of Thursday morning in India, the “Raj” video had been pulled from Popchips YouTube channel and the character scrubbed from the company’s Facebook page.

Popchips did not immediately respond to a e-mailed request for comment.

The campaign “will include video, outdoor ads and social media sites like Facebook and YouTube,” Stuart Elliot wrote in The New York Times on Wednesday.

Response to the campaign was swift and brutal. In a thorough dissection of the ad and appeal to the agencies behind it, the chip company and Mr. Kutcher himself, the tech entrepreneur Anil Dash wrote:

“Right now you’re making the world worse. Not just for me, or a billion other Indian people, but for my son, who I am hoping never has to grow up with people putting on fake Indian accents in order to mock him. Maybe people won’t be familiar with that stereotype if you, yes you personally, can refrain from spending millions of dollars and countless hours of your time on perpetuating that stereotype in order to sell potato chips.”

The Brooklyn band Das Racist weighed in on Twitter: “So, a dude who pimps sex trafficking awareness @aplusk to revive a sagging acreer also plays brownface characters for @popchips #america.” Mr. Kutcher, whose Twitter handle is @aplusk, had yet to respond by Thursday morning in India.

Stereotypical “Indian” characters still seem to be prevalent in the United States, where stereotypes of other races would not.


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