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Dadri is not first incident of its kind: Adman Piyush Pandey

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New Delhi: Ad guru Piyush Pandey, the brain behind the famed ‘Ab Ki Baar Modi Sarkar’ campaign, says the Dadri lynching is not the first of its kind and such incidents happen every year.

“If you say that Dadri is the first such incident in the history of India, you are living in a utopian land. Dadri-like incidents happen every year. It could be rape; it could be about eating beef,” Pandey, executive chairman and creative director at Ogilvy & Mather, told IANS after the launch of his new book ‘Pandeymonium’.

The adman said he was not condoning any of the incidents, but “I can talk about Sikh riots in 1984 or Bhagalpur violence or the Bhopal gas tragedy. It happens irrespective of the government in power.”

The book gives a peek into the mind and creative genius behind the many legendary ads like Fevicol, Cadbury, Asian Paints, ‘Chal Meri Luna’, to name a few of the well-known ones.

Pandey, who spearheaded the ad campaign for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with the tagline ‘Achhe Din aane waale hain’ in the general elections of 2014, said that the BJP was his preferred political party at the moment for its agenda on development.

He said he was not dissuaded by incidents like lynching of a Muslim man in Dadri since he believes these kinds of incidents occur irrespective of governments in power.

He said he doesn’t want to take the credit for the BJP’s success in the elections.

“You can only sell a good product, not a bad one. Everything was a team effort. The tagline ‘Acche Din’, ‘Janata maaf nahi karegi’, came from little things from life. That’s why it resonated with people. ‘Ab Ki Baar Modi Sarkar’, is not any rocket science. It was BJP’s decision to lead with Modi, so it happened,” said the maverick.

Asked if the government could do justice to the ‘Acche Din’ campaign, he replied: “When you sow a seed, you won’t get results overnight. It takes time to turn a big ship. It’s not a small boat. People are impatient.”

The most sought-after man in the industry is all praise for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“I share a personal rapport with Modi. I have worked with him when he was leading the tourism campaign for Gujarat as the chief minister. He was involved thoroughly in the campaign. He had an eye for detail and he is extremely professional,” Pandey said.

The book talks of the story behind many of the ads which had won wide appreciation and the maverick says that it’s all about people, life, family and friends who inspired them.

“I chat up with people and try to know more about them. They might appear as stories later, not always. Even now I find moments to talk to people,” he laughs. Whenever there is dearth of ideas, the critically acclaimed adman goes back to Jaipur, where he grew up, he writes in his book.

The adman also says had it not been for the carpenters and cobblers, the legendary Fevicol ad wouldn’t have seen the light of the day. He writes in his book about how his father brought carpenters home to make a dining table and how he discovered that carpenters had ancestors who carved wood for the maharajahs of Rajasthan.

“Thank god, my father didn’t have the money to buy ready-made furniture. I would never have been fascinated by these artists – and Ogilvy wouldn’t have done great work on the Fevicol brand,” he said.

Pandey fondly remembers the polio eradication drive in association with actor Amitabh Bachchan. “It was a great moment when India was declared 100 percent polio free,” reminisces Pandey, who has won 800 advertising awards in his 33 years in the field.

He also dismisses the concept of research in advertising, saying that it’s stupid.

“The Cadbury Dairy Milk girl dancing on the cricket field would have become a saint if she had been pre-tested. Most of the Fevicol work would not have happened because we did not show furniture. The Zoozoos of Vodafone would be aliens on earth. And Piyush Pandey would be a failed cricketer selling potatoes because he couldn’t pass the ‘link’ test of advertising,” he writes.

Pandey says that he has made a conscious effort to promote socially responsible ads whether on gender equality, social harmony or other changing social realities.

“We have done campaigns on banning acids and ads against domestic violence with NGO Breakthrough. The Red Label tea ad is about Hindu family and Muslim family, and there are ads on single mothers, queer community and more,” he said.

(Preetha Nair, IANS)

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Facebook Tightens Rules For Paid Ads, Creates Oversight Board

Facebook has no plans to swap its ads-only business model for a fee-paying service

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Facebook, Data
A photo shows the Facebook app icon on an iPhone in New York, Feb. 19, 2014. VOA

Facebook on Monday laid out plans for an independent content oversight board with the power to overturn company decisions on user posts, aimed at addressing concerns over misinformation and abusive behavior on the platform.

The board’s 40 members would select cases to review as the world’s largest social media network tries to crack down on harassment, incitement of violence and the spread of false information without infringing freedom of speech.

Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has said that Facebook should not make such decisions, but defer to an independent body of technology and human rights experts free of commercial influences.

Facebook, Fake News
Facebook ‘tricked’ kids, parents to spend money on ‘free’ games: Report. VOA

Facebook will select inaugural members for three-year terms, but they will independently decide on future membership, Facebook proposed in a draft charter.

Details about the board’s makeup and appeals process will be finalized after a series of workshops over the next six months, wrote Nick Clegg, Facebook recently appointed head of global affairs, in a blog post introducing the charter.

At a news conference in Brussels, Clegg also said the company will strengthen rules and safeguards around political advertisements to prevent foreign interference in elections, including those in Europe this year.

Facebook, Trump
Conference workers speak in front of a demo booth at Facebook’s annual F8 developer conference, in San Jose, California, April 18, 2017. VOA

Facebook has faced pressure from regulators and the public after last year’s revelation that British consultancy Cambridge Analytical had improperly acquired data on millions of U.S. users to target election advertising.

Fears about misinformation and interference have intensified with elections due this year for the European Parliament and several EU countries including Belgium and Finland.

“We will require those wanting to run political and issue ads to be authorized, and we will display a ‘paid for by’ disclaimer on those ads,” Clegg said.

Clegg, a former British deputy prime minister hired by Facebook in October last year, said the new tools to be launched in late March aim to help protect the integrity of European Union elections due to be held this spring.

Facebook, data
Facebook staring at bigger problems this year, warns analyst. VOA

Facebook said the transparency tools for electoral ads would be expanded globally before the end of June, while the tools would be in launched in India in February before its elections and in Ukraine and Israel before polls in both.

“We now have more than 30,000 people working on safety and security across the company, three times as many as we had in 2017,” the company said in a statement.

The new tools are similar to those adopted for the U.S. mid-term elections, Clegg said, with all political ads stored in a publicly searchable library for up to seven years.

This will contain information such as the amount of money spent and the number of impressions displayed, who paid for them and the demographics of those who saw them, including age, gender and location.

The new tools will also cover ‘issue ads’ which do not explicitly back one candidate or political party but which focus on highly politicized topics like immigration.

Facebook, data, photos, vietnam
A smartphone user displays a Facebook newsfeed .VOA

Defense Centers

Facebook said it would also set up two new regional operations centers focused on monitoring election-related content in its Dublin and Singapore offices.

“These teams will add a layer of defenses against fake news, hate speech and voter suppression,” it said Clegg also addressed allegations that Facebook sells user data, saying this was not the case.

“Selling people’s information to advertisers would not only be the wrong thing to do, it would undermine the way we do business, because it would reduce the unique value of our service to advertisers,” he said.

Also Read: Revenue Growth Of Ads Slowing Down in The U.S: Report

Facebook has no plans to swap its ads-only business model for a fee-paying service, Clegg said, responding to calls by some as a way to stave off privacy issues.

“We want Facebook to be a universal service. We believe that anyone should be able to connect to anyone else. The best way to do this is to offer the service for free — and that’s what the advertising model allows us to do,” he said. (VOA)