Can Celebrities Take the Responsibility for Erroneous Endorsing?

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Celebrity branding has been a time tested campaign mode for the last several decades. Direct endorsement and even surrogate ads create a sense of authenticity for the product. At the same time, there have been several criticisms against these celebrity endorsements. The major allegation was that the celebrities take little responsibility for the quality of the product, whether it is a safety pin, soap, shampoo, beverage or a high end Sports Utility Vehicle. Moreover, they may not be even using the brands they are endorsing. But at the other end, the customers go after the product, blindly attracted to his or her popularity and believing the words of the sports star or film stars in the ad. When we analyze it closely, a certain amount of cheating is involved in these endorsements.

Numerous issues related to celebrity branding have led to a thought of even establishing a censoring mechanism for ads. There have been several law suits in the courts, challenging the quality of products and hollow claims in advertisements.

Do brand ambassadors be made liable for misleading ads? When the company and advertisement agencies are solely responsible for the service/product quality and the ad concept respectively, the celebrities stands as an appropriate medium to promote the concept. A large number of customers tend to blindly believe brands promoted by celebrities, purely out of the emotional bonding with them.  Owing to this reason, the stars cannot runway from their responsibility to these customers. In this scenario, whether stars have to be penalized for the misleading advertisements need to be pondered over by considering every side of the topic. Noting that celebrities honoured with Padma awards are brand ambassadors of several products, the subject has to be well-considered to eradicate this unfavorable inclination in the advertising industry.

Reportedly, the government has said that a Parliamentary Committee’s recommendation of penalties against endorsers of misleading advertisements is under consideration. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Food, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution recommends a fine of Rs. 1 million and imprisonment up to two years or both for first time offence and fine of Rs. 5 million and imprisonment for five years for the second time offence for celebrity endorsers.

The crux of all these is that, stringent provisions to tackle misleading advertisements, as well as to fix liability on endorsers/celebrities are soon to be enforced. An execution wing of the government will be entrusted to monitor the credibility of the advertisements as well as it would not be open to a consumer to independently press charges against the ambassador in a court for false and misleading ads. Prior to implementing all these measures, it is very significant for the government to clarify the definitions relating to misleading, false and objectionable advertisements.

 

 

 

 

Digital Marketing Surges as Traditional Ads Face Brunt of GST

AdsAdvertising is a high-demand requisite to promote business growth. Markets use this unique tool to educate customers about the brands. Goods and Services Tax (GST), the revolutionary tax reform, would probably result in major transformations in India’s advertising trends. Advertising agencies that come under the broad umbrella of service sector are liable to pay 18 percent tax for traditional advertising under the GST regime, up 3 percent from the previous rate of 15 percent.

GST has indeed negatively impacted on print and TV advertising in the country.  The brands that are the ultimate benefactors of the service are the obvious payers of this tax. Thus, traditional advertisements have turned out to be an additional expense for several companies.

Every cloud has a silver lining. Thus the burden of extra tax on traditional advertising unlocks the endless opportunities of a much cost effective alternative – digital advertising.  Reportedly, digital advertising which is growing at a fast pace of 14 percent per annum in India has entered the club of $1 billion or above industries.  With the decline of traditional advertising, the overall advertising share of the digital media is expected to double by 2020, means 100 percent more of the Pre-GST era.

As India is celebrating a digital revolution, the nation is expected to have 800 million smartphone users by 2020 and this is likely to catalyse digital advertising in the coming days. Having an edge over TV and print advertising on the basis of more interactive and engaging content, advertising on a digital platform becomes cost effective as well as highly penetrating. Moreover, the unprecedented progress of social media, native advertising, and content marketing on a comparatively low cost is luring both customers and marketers towards digital advertising.

Advertising industry have been facing certain hiccups and teething problems after the rollout of GST. The leading brands have already felt the major drift in the advertising sector. It’s high time for emerging brands to turn into utilizing the seamless opportunities of digital advertising and marketing. In this scenario of extra tax on conventional advertising, digital advertising can play a counterbalancing act as it is equipped with smart and cost effective solutions. In order to rationalize advertising goals, big and medium companies are ready to spend their major chunk of advertising budget for digital advertising, thus opening up new vistas.

NITI Aayog’s PPP project, an excellent slot for private players in health sector

Indian policy think-tank, the National Institution for Transforming India or NITI Aayog, has recently unveiled a grand plan to effectively privatize district hospitals in Tier-I and Tier-II cities. The new strategy is in the light of the realization that the current capacities in public facilities to manage disease conditions in cardiology, pulmonology and oncology are practically insufficient in Tier-I and Tier-II towns. Most civil hospitals in many states are not equipped to effectively address the medical requirements of many non-communicable diseases prevailing in the country. It is understood that the scheme will be initially piloted in states such as Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, etc.

The project will be a prospective opportunity for private health service providers who wish to strike a public – private participation or PPP. In this scheme, private partners will be able to cherry-pick the most lucrative districts where patients have a higher paying capacity. Addressing the major financial concern in PPP model, the scheme will also provide an escrow account for private partners that would reduce the risk of delayed reimbursement by the government. Providers would also secure access to utilize all public facilities such as ambulance services, blood banks, mortuaries etc.

In a nut shell, the new initiative of NITI Aayog is government’s solid attempt of handing over public assets to private partners and a clear abdication of the risky duty of providing service where government capacities are totally insufficient. As Health care is primarily a state subject, state governments are expected to soon look into adopting PPP projects in association with respectable private hospitals. Given the large presence in the sector, a well-defined role in the provision of NCD care is welcome but has to be accommodated within a well-designed framework of Universal Health Coverage that integrates pre-paid primary, secondary and tertiary care through a combination of tax funding and social insurance. The proposed PPP model will not only improve the deliverance of appropriate and equitable care to the public but also will prove how the private partners can effectively intervene in reviving the health sector of India.

NHP 2017 revives PPP model to achieve global health standard

National Health Policy (NHP) 2017 envisioned to build on the progress made by the last NHP, is primarily to address problems with respect to the three A’s, ie, access, affordability and accountability of healthcare services in India. Since the last 15 years, the healthcare context of the country has drastically changed in four major dimensions. The country witnessed a growing burden of some non-communicable and infectious diseases and a rise in catastrophic expenditure of health care. At the same time, India has also observed a considerable progress in the healthcare sector and also enhanced fiscal capacity due to size-able economic growth. In this scenario, NHP 2017 was the need of the hour to address these factors effectively.
NHP 2017 foresees to widen primary healthcare network in India, enabling to cover a larger section of people. Primary health packages are upgraded from a very basic one to a comprehensive package including geriatric, palliative and rehabilitative care services. Up to two-third of the fund has been allocated to resource primary, secondary and tertiary care. The guidelines on finding sustainable solutions to defend the surge of lifestyle disease are another notable annexures in the document.
This is the first time in India; a national policy has so intensely recognized the role of private sector in taking the healthcare sector of the nation to the next level. Realizing the scale of PPP model in the sector, the government proposes to help private hospitals subsidize costs for people below the poverty line. Combining the advantages of less expense to the government and better service from a private partner, the goal of universal healthcare could be achieved faster and more comprehensively.
“I am quite hopeful about the outcome of the implementation of NHP 2017 since it looks at problems and solutions holistically with the private sector as strategic partners. As a private entity, we are wholeheartedly willing to extend all support to this policy;” says Dr. N Pratap Kumar, Chairman & Managing Director, Meditrina Hospitals, pioneers in PPP model SIH cardiac care units across India and Maldives.
When most of the foreign countries including the UK and Australia follow an approach to hospital PPPs focusing on facilities, India on contrast has initiated more comprehensive service delivery PPPs. Reportedly, India will end up with a total bed density of 1.84 per 1,000 people against the global average of 2.9 and WHO guideline of 3.5 in 2022. If the figures has to be improved, the private sector has to be successfully intervened not only in investments but also in project planning and optimum of capital at all income levels, especially the rural and urban poor sectors.
Text by: Manila Manohar | manila@respublica.in
Photo Credit: www.nhp.gov.in

Being a key player!

Arun Sudhaman takes charge as the CEO of Holmes Report. Being the most authoritative voice in the global scenario of PR industry, Holmes Report covers every aspect within the wide spectrum of PR beyond just reporting. With a distinct stamp of its own Holmes has taken another huge leap in its legendary journey.

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Sudhaman has played a key role in transforming the Holmes from a company based in the conventional print publishing world to a multi channel business generating a wide range of digital content, Industry specific events and world’s largest PR Award program. He has led the comprehensive relaunch of the company’s content platform and played a pivotal role in expanding the reach of Holmes Report to Asia- Pacific.

In his new role as CEO, Sudhaman is responsible for expansion of the Holmes’ product portfolio and geographic footprint.

Indulge yourself in smart phone games to treat depression

Depression and anxiety can be huge obstacles for many of us. Whether you are struggling with mild depression or anxiety, or you feel yourself buried by it, for one it’s challenging to deal with it. To find a way out can seem nearly impossible for the victim. People with late –life depressions generally have trouble focusing their attention on personal goals due to worries.

Luckily, things are changing and more and more methods of treatment are being developed for depression, anxiety and other mental health related issues. What’s even more exciting is that people have started to realize how helpful video candy-crush-saga-screenshot-01games or smartphone games can be for those people who struggle with mood disorders or mental illness.  That’s right! Scientists and doctors are seeing medically beneficial reasons for people to play electronic games.

A recent study proves that playing mobile –based video games may help to treat depression by targeting underlying cognitive issues associated with the disorder, rather than just managing the symptoms. The study enrolled older adults diagnosed with late life depression into a treatment trial where they were randomized to receive either a mobile, tablet based treatment technology called Project EVO or an in person therapy technique known as problem solving therapy.  Project EVO runs on phones and tablets and is designed to improve focus and attention at a basic neurological level.

It’s an amazing fact that science is starting to understand how to use video games to help people struggling with mental illness.  Almost above 1.2 billion people play games in the world. Smartphone gaming is currently growing in popularity in how fun addictive and accessible they are.

So now in this era of inventions, it’s a great thing to know that, playing the occasional mobile game for fun is typically harmless. It is after all, just one of many recreational activities one can enjoy during their leisure time. Besides social entertainment, some games even come with further benefits as they can build decision making skills, give education and help the general well-being of a person.  So they are not only to entertain and a way to kill time but it also relieves stress in great extent.

As with anything, moderation is the key mantra to be followed, one should not get fully immersed in their games. So while you indulge yourself in smartphone game therapy to overcome anxiety or depression, it’s important to keep your gadget games for a moderate time.

Importance of Public Affairs Personnel in development Scenario

Though studies talk about declining job opportunities and shrinking white collar class, Public Affairs jobs are obviously on a rising platform. The present development scenario depicts technological advancements and startups being nurtured with utmost care.  Beyond brains of innovations, there is also a huge demand for those who have a good knowledge over the concerned laws and government regulatory.

With a lot of development projects in the pipeline, major hupamp-mockuprdles are always faced during the implementation stage. These hurdles basically sprout from the regulatory framework. An expertise to trespass these hurdles is as important as the innovation.

Communication plays a major role in the functioning of regulatory authorities. With every communication in papers and every stage involving legal formalities, an expert to deal with the situation is unavoidable. There’s always a demand for tactical approach to be followed to avoid controversies and issues while handling regulatory bodies. In a country where laws remain the barricade and lawmakers the by passers, a specialist with knowledge on the government scenario and concerned rules and regulations is a necessity.

Companies adopt technologies as well as experts to work with innovations, but most important person for any institution is an expert to navigate through public affairs matters and the legal side. Without public affairs team an initial hurdle can turn into a huge crisis and end up tarnishing the company itself. An expert advice would not only clear the permits but also guarantees a trust label for the company.

Public affair consultants are on demand by startups as they face more difficulties into enter the industry. So as the startup friendly environment prevails in the country, PA jobs would be on hike. Thereby an expert in the field could expect new ventures in the upcoming years.