Note circulating in Congress blames faulty ad campaign for Lok Sabha poll defeat: Report

As per the report, note claims that the selection of the advertising agency was not transparent and the campaign was not conceived properly

by exchange4media Staff
Published - Jul 6, 2019 2:05 PM Updated: Jul 6, 2019 2:05 PM
Congress

While Congress is still looking into the reasons for its rout in the Lok Sabha elections, an anonymous note circulating within the party has held the failure of its advertisement campaign as one of the reasons for the defeat, according to a media report. The note is said to have been submitted to party president Rahul Gandhi under a process that allows leaders to file anonymous complaints.

The note reportedly highlights the drawbacks of the Congress campaign. As mentioned in the report, the note claims that the selection of the advertising agency was not transparent and the campaign was not conceived properly because of which the poll promises could not reach the voters.

The note raises questions on the working of a 13-member Publicity Committee formed by the party for the Lok Sabha elections. The committee was responsible for engaging creative agencies to conceptualise the campaign, including slogans, posters, hoardings, and the campaign on television, print, digital and radio platforms.

“No due process was followed when selecting the agency to execute advertisements in media (including print advertisements in newspapers, audio-visual advertisements in TV, radio and cinema). “These were unilaterally selected and thrust upon the publicity committee,” the report quoted the internal note as stating.”

The note reportedly claimed that initially two large advertising agencies had bid for the Congress campaign, and yet, the Congress selected agencies that did not have the size or scale to execute the campaign.

The note also claimed that the advertisements were misplaced and did not target the necessary audience. For instance, advertisements for free check-ups in government hospitals and 33-percent reservation for women in government jobs were written in English and published in an English daily.

The internal note further states that “the campaign jingle was a rap song—that does not resonate with non-young and non-urban Indians. Plus, the jingle has no mention of Congress or vote for Congress (all the cues are visual, and no verbal) for the first three phases.”

The report claimed that Publicity Committee members confirmed that they are aware of the note but dismissed its allegations

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