The two-day ASCI initiative ‘Creativity with a Conscience’ (CWC) ended with a power-packed panel discussion and workshop on ‘The advent of social media into advertising space – Is it a boon or bane for the industry?’ The panel discussion was hosted by Naked Communication.
The workshop focused on how social media can be leveraged to create greater responsibility in advertising. The panel was moderated by CNBC’s senior anchor Suresh Venkat, while the panelists included Subhash Kamath (BBH); Ashok Lalla (Euro RSCG); Nikhil Kumar (leading Twitter user); Anish Trivedi (Author, Columnist & Social Commentator), and Jaideep Singh (MTV-Viacom18).
Quoting Voltaire, Venkat said: ‘I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to death your right to say it’. Continuing further, he wondered how true this statement was and to what extent an individual would tap into the vast opportunity of social media and how one would react if digital changed the way of communicating.
Kamath pointed out that technology had always changed communication and that it had broken down geographical and other barriers, thus facilitating people today to interact directly through digital mediums.
Agreeing with this, Trivedi noted that digital communication, especially with the entire social media matrix today, had changed the game plan of communication. “We are not at a point where nothing matters to nobody, or who we talk to is not important,” he added.
For Nikhil Kumar, the real challenge for marketing itself, or brand promoters, was from the people who were not well established offline and thus, the space of social media worked for them.
MTV-Viacom18’s Singh mentioned that for his brand, social media had always helped them gain positive feedback, especially in certain cases like ‘MTV Roadies’.
Talking about ASCI’s guidelines, Kamath mentioned that there were no rules laid down for advertising or promoting a brand, but there were always limitations to responsibilities towards healthy advertising. “Just because creativity helps in expressing one’s opinion, it does not mean that one should push the envelope hard and cross the limits,” he concluded on a cautionary note.