A move that could have only garnered an are-you-kidding-me response a few years ago has become reality in India’s media space now. Some of the country’s top advertising brands have come together to express their concerns about the toxic content on TV news shows they have been sponsoring. Who would’ve thought!
A recent published by Best Media Info states that leading brands such as Parle, Amul, Future Group, and Maruti Suzuki, have expressed disapproval at how TV news shows have flung journalistic ethics to the wind and hinted at reviewing their ad expenditures if newsrooms refuse to change course.
Amul, which received social media outrage after Newslaundry how the brand was among the top sponsors of Sudarshan News channel’s hateful “UPSC Jihad” show, seems to have finally woken up. The company’s managing director, RS Sodhi, was quoted as saying by Best Media Info that since 35-40 percent of his brand’s total television budget is spent on news, which is undoubtedly an important medium for advertising, it is possible for the brand to pressure the news channels that refuse to behave. Considering how toxic news content is affecting youngsters in the country, he also called on other top advertisers to take action.
Krishnarao Buddha of Parle went a step further and urged all leading advertisers “to come together and ban the news genre until they are forced to bring sanity and ethics in news back”.
Pawan Sarda, group head of digital marketing and e-commerce at Future Group, was quoted as saying by Best Media Info, “The language that these channels have been using, I don’t want my kids to be consuming that content and if I think this for my kids, it applies to my brands too. It’s important for us to come together and being responsible is extremely important right now.”
Shashank Srivastava, executive director of sales and marketing at Maruti Suzuki India, while admitting that advertisers should, by principle, invest in media with good and clean content, cautioned that brands should stay away from dictating to news channels what content they can carry.
While this would be a more than welcome move on part of these brands, it remains to be seen how the new channels would react to it.