MAM

#MediaMinds2| Advertisers must make ethical call on pandering to sensationalism: Vikram Sakhuja

Madison Media & OOH group CEO addresses the debate on brand health vs ethics

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2020/07/17/Vikram%20Sakhuja.jpg?itok=Z3op6CXT

NEW DELHI: Publishers of today are under more extensive scrutiny than ever. Consumers are far more aware and aren’t hesitant to question the sensationalism that they are peddling in the name of information and entertainment. Even some of the brands, globally, have started taking cognisance of the matter and have started pulling away ad monies from certain platforms like Facebook for hate speech and problematic content. This has given rise to an interesting discussion in the media and marketing ecosphere around what roles can advertisers play to curb this issue.

Madison Media & OOH group CEO Vikram Sakhuja, addressing the question in Media Minds season two, shared that there are two ways to look at the current scenario from an advertisers' standpoint: brand health and ethics. 

Comparing the situation to when he started his career with P&G in the late-80s, he stated that at that time the debate was about quantity v/s quality, which was also based on the core idea of the environment in which an ad is seen.

“When Aaj Tak started, advertisers used to think that most ads on the channel are of undergarments and whether it's suitable for my brand health to be visible there. At that point in time, the school of proper marketing told me if a consumer is seeing a particular programming, then they are there for a reason. And if they see your ad, it shouldn’t be a problem. In the case of P&G, in the early 90s, the quantity was always more important than quality.”

He adds that while in today’s time that quality vs quantity debate has got blurred because of tools like social media where ads are no longer seen as an interruption, but there is another debate that has started around what sort of content is surrounding a brand’s ad or branded content. “It is actually very important to actually raise this question even from a brand health standpoint,” he said.

Addressing the situation from an ethical standpoint, he shares that advertisers have to make the call around whether they want to pander to sensationalism or fake news.

“Even though it has, maybe, nothing to do with the brand ad that is placed next to it, the reason this sensationalising (happens) is because advertisers are going to come because of more eyeballs. So, if you take an ethical position on that and say, even if the eyeballs come there, I will not pander to that kind of sensationalism, it will, in fact, dry up the oxygen in that room, rather than give them more oxygen. Then you are actually disincentivising those same publishers from trying to take that strategy to monetise their business,” he added.

He said that as an agency head he will warn the advertiser if there is inflammatory content on a certain publisher’s channel or website, but he will leave the final decision on the brand head.

Apart from this, Sakhuja talked about his favourite subject - data, the need for a unified metric system in marketing and his plans for his agency going ahead.

Latest Reads

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/10/16/cred.jpg?itok=bmi3gDnH
In a role reversal, Kapil Dev does a Ranveer Singh for Cred

Credit card payment app Cred, which is an official partner of Vivo IPL, has launched its latest ad featuring the legendary cricketer Kapil Dev in a spanking-new persona, ahead of the IPL 2021 finale.

MAM Marketing MAM
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/10/16/alia.jpg?itok=fyzS9A74
Bombay Shaving Company Women signs on Alaya F as brand ambassador

Mumbai: Bombay Shaving Company Women, a spin-off of men’s grooming brand Bombay Shaving Company (BSC), has entered into a partnership with Bollywood actor Alaya F. This represents BSC Women's commitment to reimagining hair removal solutions for women in the country. The announcement comes with the...

MAM Media and Advertising Ad Campaigns
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/10/15/kaizzen-800.jpg?itok=4I2ccTBz
Allana Consumer Products appoints Kaizzen as its PR agency

Mumbai:  Allana Consumer Products has awarded its PR mandate to Kaizzen. The mandate encompasses providing strategic communications support to the Consumer Products Division of Allana Group, covering corporate reputation management and brand visibility for all its consumer products across media...

MAM Media and Advertising People
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/10/15/meesho-800.jpg?itok=wbp7eONv
Meesho records 750% growth in users during festive sale event

MUMBAI: Internet commerce platform Meesho has recorded 750 per cent growth in users over last year during its flagship festive sale event, Maha Indian Shopping League. Nearly 60 per cent of the total demand was driven by Tier 4+ markets, including remote locations like Khawzhwal and Sopore, said...

MAM Marketing MAM
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/10/14/photogrid_plus_1634203975919_0.jpg?itok=divCVIGT
Michael Komasinski appointed as global CEO, Merkle

Mumbai: dentsu International has announced that Michael Komasinski is to be promoted to the role of global chief executive officer of Merkle, and a member of the dentsu international executive team. He replaces Craig Dempster who has been a member of the Merkle executive leadership team for nearly...

MAM Media and Advertising People
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/10/14/photogrid_plus_1634197609637.jpg?itok=pUCNJ21j
Sukkhi ropes in Karisma Kapoor as brand ambassador

Mumbai: Online-first fashion jewellery brand Sukkhi has roped in Bollywood star Karisma Kapoor as its brand ambassador. The actress will be seen as the face of the brand, promoting its premium quality products which are available at attractive prices across India, said the statement. As the festive...

MAM Marketing Brands
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/10/14/photogrid_plus_1634192146115.jpg?itok=9ausmpON
Priti Murthy joins GroupM as president, GroupM Services India

Mumbai: GroupM India on Thursday announced the appointment of Priti Murthy as president, GroupM Services India. In her new role, Murthy would also be part of the GroupM India executive committee. Murthy will work closely with GroupM’s regional leadership team in ensuring seamless adoption of all...

MAM Marketing MAM
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/10/14/photogrid_plus_1634191379650.jpg?itok=_vrVcbBA
Heads Up For Tails appoints Samriddh Dasgupta as CMO

Mumbai: Homegrown D2C pet care company Heads Up For Tails (HUFT) on Thursday announced the appointment of Samriddh Dasgupta as chief marketing officer. In his new role, Dasgupta will be responsible for scaling growth across the levers of brand and marketing, partnerships, community culture and...

MAM Media and Advertising People
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/10/14/fb.jpg?itok=vjSNykSb
Elegant Steel celebrates Durga Puja with ‘The Steel Within’ campaign

As the country readies itself to immerse in the grand annual five-day celebration of Durga Puja which pays homage to the goddess Durga, homegrown manufacturer of iron and steel products Elegant Steel has marked the occasion with the launch of its new film called 'Narishakti- The Steel Within.'

MAM Marketing MAM

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required