Saturday, November 22, 2008

CNN-IBN breaches sacred editorial barrier

NDTV has done it earlier. It is now CNN-IBN which has done it. The channel's film reviewer, Rajiv Masand, while interviewing Aishwarya Bachchan Rai on Friday (Nov 21, 2008)evening talked about the Longines watch of which the glamorous actress is a brand ambassador. It appears that Longines has sponsored the interview, and one of the unethical conditions laid down by the company must have been that the interview must include a question on the product.
Coomerical interests are inevitable in running media ventures -- including newspapers and television channels -- but there is need for the old-world, old-fashioned dividing line between editorial and advertising to be maintained. It is not just the editorial side that loses credibility by blurring the lines. The commercial product also loes its credit-wrothiness, whatever it has.
A good product needs no advertisement. And when it is advertised, it does so on the honourable basis of paying for the advertisement. Trying to encroach on editorial time and space is nothing but a crude arm-twisting tactic. Sooner or later, the stupid marketing wizards will have to learn the rules of the game and abide by them because ultimately there are greater profits if the product managers follow rules and norms.
It is for the advertising associations to sit up and take note of this ugly development.

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