Thande ka Tadka

The Babu isn’t sure what Ruchir Joshi’s drinking these days, but it certainly isn’t Pepsi. Or Coke:

We are a country where international Cola companies find it far cheaper to hire the most expensive movie stars to defend their interests than to clean up the bad chemicals in their plants. We are a country where these stars ask no questions of the companies they front on TV. We are a country where a star like Amir can, in effect, say “Look, my dear public, you love me, don’t you? Well, I am asking you to translate your love for me into trust for my paymasters at Coca-Cola.”
I mean, can you imagine Tom Cruise or Hugh Grant going on national TV after a huge controversy such as this, pulling out a bottle of suspect product from the assembly line and taking a swig? And asking the US or British public to “trust” the product, to let their children quaff it, on the basis of a set-up ad in which, in these days of digital colour-manipulation, the hero-dude could be drinking anything from cranberry juice to the best Pinot Noir wine? No, this can only happen in a media-republic that is even more Banana than the US, a country like India, which is one of the few large economies where the Pesti-Colas can still hope to expand their markets.

2 comments

  1. Your friend has got some caustic sense of humour and is well on his way to becoming kola-bagan’s most feared satirist. But what happened to his great eastern hotel? Thought it would be opened for the public in November 2005. I can already hear the Alchemist and his men make snide comments; they may soon launch a sting operation on this.

  2. Hi Babu,I guess Ruchir Joshi is right. I can say this with authority because I was the Executive Secretary of the ASCI which is supposed to regulate advertising in India. My experience was that anyone could claim anything in an ad and go scot free saying, “No I won’t repeat this ad again,” after the damage has been done. Recently I have seen many surrogate advertising for alcoholic drinks all round bombay and nobody seems to be minding. Read this post: http://johnpmathew.blogspot.com/2006/10/random-thoughts-on-monday-morning.htmlThere seems to be no regulating advertising in India and no nodal body to deal with complaints similar to the US’ Federal Communication Commission. And advertisers and the media are having, hm, a field day!J

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