The Tanishq Mess: Doing business will start to get more difficult – Naresh Gupta

How often has a single ad exposed the gaps in law enforcement, social media platform management and mob violence? Even more strange is to think that a jewelry ad will do this for all of us. First, its an ad. As advertising goes, its job is to put the product in pedestal and make its audience consider buying the brand when the need arises. Did the ad do this? The answer is yes to any question that you can ask.

Was it apt? Yes.

Was it compelling? Yes.

Was it memorable? Yes.

Was it imaginative? Yes.

Did the ad put the brand on the pedestal? Yes.

Second, an ad has to be imaginative and tell you a story that is remembered, aiding the brand recall. By now almost everyone in the country can narrate the ad frame by frame, and so the answer has to be a resounding yes. So where is the issue? And why did Tanishq have to withdraw the ad?

Tanishq has withdrawn the controversial ad and released this statement

This is where the fault of our system is exposed for all of us to see. The fault lies with social media platforms that allowed the mob to run unchecked. Every social media platform could have and should have moderated the comments on its platform. Every platform in its licensing agreements puts in clauses about the kind of things we can say and what we cant. The systems and algo didn’t pick up the personal attacks on employees of Tanishq is shocking, to say the least.

The second was the response of all those who shape and guide the nation’s thinking. There wasn’t one who stepped out and offered support to Tanishq. Just a few tweets from those who matter would have muted the rabble rousers. Surprisingly, apart from Shashi Tharoor, not one voice was raised in support of Tansishq.

The third is abject failure of law enforcement in the country. The hate speech was out in open, the attack on employees was out in open, the law enforcement was not out in open. This created mob frenzy and created a scenario where a business entity was not allowed to business. The loss is all ours as a nation, but also of Government in lost in taxes.

We can always raise the question about what happens when you don’t like an ad? There are avenues open to ordinary citizens Boycott the brand.

Raise issue with ASCI.

File a complaint with cops.

Start a petition at change.org.

Speak about it, tag the brand, seek answer.

Beyond the rabble that mob raised, there are deeper issues in this episode. Issues around freedom to do business, about the safety of citizens, about freedom of creation. I don’t think this is the end, this is the start, and doing business will start to get more difficult as the law of jungle will take over.

Naresh Gupta, Co-founder, Bang In The Middle shared his views on the Tanishq ad raw exclusively with Social Media Newspaper.

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