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Parle G, Bajaj to avoid ‘toxic’ channels; news TV to face revenue crunch

Uncertainty has gripped the traditional media, especially television, as popular brands Bajaj and Parle G have announced that they would refrain from being associated with toxic media channels.

Marketing and advertising experts said that this could have a cascading effect, with other brands following suit. Over the last few years, revenues have been falling for the traditional media, which include television, print and outdoor. The recent decision of these two brands could further lead to thinning of revenue for several media organizations.

In fact, #ParleG was even trending on Twitter after it made its decision public.

Last week, the Mumbai Police accused Republic TV, Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema of manipulating television rating points or TRPs. Not just that, several news channels and print organizations have come under stringent criticism in the recent past for the way they have dealt with information dissemination.

The decision of these two brands would hit television news channels the most. News consumption on the traditional media is on a decline, while digital platform has seen a huge growth.

“When it is a question of news consumption, it is not a question of who supports whom, it is about watching a channel or reading a newspaper which is unbiased. But unfortunately in today’s context, most channels are openly biased, often misrepresenting fact or views. This has put off viewers,” a senior media person who did not wish to be identified told IndiaNarrative.com.

The traditional news channels have been losing credibility fast. This was particularly expedited after the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput and the treatment of the news related to his death by television channels.

Harish Bijoor, brand and marketing guru, said that brands thrive in positive environment. “Brands typically do not like controversies, they thrive in celebratory environment. We now see more and more people coming out and saying that they wouldn’t want to be seen with certain channels,” Bijoor said, adding that this became a cause of concern for the mass media comprising television, print and outdoor.

“We find that the new media—especially digital—has come up in a big way and already commands a third of the overall advertising pie. In the next few years, it could increase to 60 per cent,” Bijoor said.

“Sadly, revenues will get crunched further, though I strongly feel that advertising must not control content and similarly content must not control advertising,” Bijoor noted.