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There is need to be responsible marketers: Vindi Banga, Unilever Plc

11-June-2010
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There is need to be responsible marketers: Vindi Banga, Unilever Plc

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) is observed its Silver Jubilee recently with a special seminar – ‘Marketing Responsibly: A seminar to Celebrate 25 years of The Advertising Standards Council of India’. Delivering the keynote address, Vindi Banga President – Foods, Home & Personal Care, Unilever Plc said, “ASCI is an important part of Indian business and culture. The last 25 years held a mirror to the industry and it helped the Indian market to develop positively. I myself am a firm believer in self regulation. Past 20 years has doubted the need of de-regulation. Regulation is coming back with vengeance. The positive role that advertising plays in business is creating a free enriched society.”

“Advertising helps improve the standard of living. We can shape the perception of the people and hence we need to have immense responsibility as advertisers. I feel responsible for myself and for my company since brands can take positions on issues. Living up to the promise is the key.” added Banga

Banga said, “With digital world, consumer has another option open. Marketing responsibly is the only right thing to do. To succeed, trust needs be built with consumers overtime. We need to encourage and inspire technology.” He offered the example of the processed food industry which is at a nascent stage. He said that though Unilever did not have all the answers, it was active in this space. “Until one does not invest in technology, one can’t get tasty and nutritive food. Responsibility is a huge motivation for the work force. We all want to indulge ourselves but we can certainly let the consumers know the calorie content. We are responsible towards the citizens and we need to simplify it through labelling and advertising,” explained Banga.

“The three challenges for responsible marketing are - empowerment of digital technology, increasing litigation which is very common in US and the regulatory aspect. The principal of mandating self regulation should be spread to other mediums. Digitisation is moving very fast. ASCI should partner with US and UK digital markets. We need to find ways to regulate the privacy of individuals. Business needs to rebalance its offers and we will need to increase shareholders value,” added Banga.

“The advertising plays a great role in society. We need to move beyond advertising to marketing. The biggest challenge is how to implement business with greater responsibility?” questioned Banga to conclude his session.

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