Bajaj, Parle refuse to air their ads on ‘toxic’ news channels

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Parle Products, maker of the much-loved Parle G biscuits, has announced that they will not advertise on news channels that “broadcast toxic content” and are accused of spreading hate. According to a report published in the newspaper Mint, Parle’s senior category head Krishnarao Buddha said that the channels promoting aggression and toxicity are not the kind the company wants to put money into as it does not favour its target consumer.

Budhha added that the company is in talks with other advertisers so that they can collectively put a restraint on advertising on such channels in order to send a clear message.

“We are exploring possibilities wherein other advertisers can come together and sort of put a restraint on their advertising spends on news channels, so that there is some sort of a clear signal to all the news channels, that they better change their content,” the Mint quoted Buddha as saying.

Following this announcement by Parle, #ParleG has been trending on Twitter with many calling it a “socially responsible brand” while many hailed the decision and called it a “much-needed step.”

Parle is not the first brand to take a stand against news channels. A few days ago, industrialist Rajiv Bajaj told CNBC-TV18 that Bajaj Auto has blacklisted three channels as far as advertising is concerned.

“A strong brand is a foundation on which you build a strong business. At the end of the day, the purpose of a strong business is to also contribute to the society,” he was quoted as saying by CNBCTV18. “Our brand has never associated with anything we feel is a source of toxicity in society.”

This comes amid a debate on “fake” or “inflated” TRPs by some TV news channels. Last week, the Mumbai Police claimed to have busted a ‘false TRP racket’, where households were apparently asked to keep channels switched on the entire day. The officers claimed that even in uneducated homes, some English news channels remained switched on.

Arnab Goswami-led Republic TV, have also come under the scanner for allegedly rigging their TRP. Republic TV has denied wrongdoing and dismissed the charges as being politically-motivated by the Maharashtra government, which it has accused of cover-up in the Sushant Singh Rajput death case. It has also said it would sue the Mumbai Police for defamation.

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