Class has no ‘class’

Guest Column: Markand Adhikari, Chairman & MD of SABGROUP, writes that the new trend of nudity and obscenity in OTT is harming society and putting freedom of expression in danger

e4m by Markand Adhikari
Published: Mar 21, 2023 2:30 PM  | 4 min read
Markand Adhikari

Today, I wished to share something with the readers about a new trend in the media/entertainment sector, but let me first confess I feel ashamed and embarrassed to write this as I also come from this fraternity. The trend I am referring to is the kind of content that has excessive vulgarity, nudity and obscenity.

When some of my friends told me about this, I was not ready to believe that the content dished out on a platform, for public consumption, could have fallen to this level. But they insisted and urged me to raise my voice against it. So, I decided to check it out myself. I came across a web series titled ‘Class’ and another called ‘Rana Naidu’, both on a premium OTT platform. I mustered enough willpower but I am sorry to report that I could not watch more than two episodes of each of them.

On TV and the big screen, the content is meant for entertainment. This content did not entertain me; it shocked me, it disturbed me.

When people complain of such excesses, some makers argue that they are merely showing a mirror to society. I beg to differ. What is shown in ‘Class’ and ‘Rana Naidu’ is not the true picture of our culture and society. Is each and every student of an elite school in big cities a drug addict? Is every boy or girl in such high-profile schools indulging in pervert sexual acts? If that were the case, I am sure at least some of the parents would have raised their voices and stopped sending their children to such schools. But that is not the case.

What such content does is not reflect social reality but actually the opposite – instigate our youth and society to go down this path by giving them ideas. Do we want today’s youth to take that path and create a generation of drug peddlers, sex maniacs and criminals? Or do we want to see them as doctors, administrators, scientists, thinkers and leaders of the future?

Don’t get me wrong. I am not advocating strict censorship. I believe I am very liberal-minded and have been a strong advocate of the freedom of expression. But crossing the limits of what can be said and what can be shown on the screen is a shameless and blatant violation of the Freedom of Expression. The premium platform where ‘Class’ and ‘Rana Naidu’ is streaming is abusing the right to free expression.

Let us agree that nudity, vulgarity and obscenity cannot be sold in the name of fundamental rights. If you think so, then why stop at ‘Class’ and ban outright pornography? That too should be ok. If so, is it the case that some porn producers and peddlers have been prosecuted because their platform is not as big?

Let me reiterate that the issue here is nudity and not fundamental rights. Those who defend this vulgarity in the name of rights are actually destroying our social fabric and harming our culture. Selling obscene content in the name of freedom of expression is actually putting this freedom and this right in danger. They are forcing the authorities to consider censorship of OTT content. Then, we as an industry will have no argument against the government. In other words, these “advocates” of freedom of expression will be responsible for the censorship of OTT content, and we will be responsible for digging our own graves.

Alarm bells are ringing. I strongly believe we should wake up and put a stop to this trend. Enough is indeed enough.

Markand Adhikari is Chairman and Managing Director of SAB Network.

(The views expressed here are solely those of the authors and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com)

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e4m Digital Marketing Leaders Awards laud contributions of 33 industry pioneers

The leaders have been honoured for their successful digital strategies, campaigns and innovations

By exchange4media Staff | Jun 9, 2023 9:14 PM   |   3 min read

digital award

The exchange4media Group hosted the inaugural edition of the e4m Digital Marketing Leaders Awards on Friday, June 9, at the Taj Santacruz in Mumbai. The star-studded award night recognized and felicitated the game-changers in the digital marketing domain for their outstanding and impressive contributions to the industry. The awards celebrated the best minds in the digital marketing space for their successful digital strategies, campaigns and innovations that leverage new technologies.

A total of 33 digital marketing leaders were awarded at the dazzling awards night. The occasion was graced by top leaders, industry heads and experts from a wide cross-section of marketing, media and brands. Spotify Advertising is the Celebratory Partner of the event while Lemma is the Networking Partner.

The winners who were honoured with the award include Abhishek Mehta, Digital Marketing Lead, FMCG- Jubilant Foodworks, Altamash Khan, Digital Lead- Kellogg India, Ankit Desai, Head - Media & Digital Marketing (India & Global Centre of Excellence)- Marico., Anvesha Poswalia, Head of Digital & E-commerce - Home Care- Unilever, Apoorva Maheshwari, Head of Marketing- Bestseller, Deepa Krishnan, Director - Marketing, Category, Loyalty, Digital- Starbucks, Dipti Sudhir, Head- Digital Marketing & PR- Britannia Industries, Divya Batra, Head of Marketing- Haldiram’s, Girish Hingorani, Senior General Manager & Head – Marketing & E-commerce Cooling & Purification Appliances Group- Blue Star, Jahid Ahmed, Senior Vice President and Head of Digital Acquisition/ Website/ Content & Social Media Marketing- HDFC Bank. 

The other winners are Madhu S Dutta, Head of Marketing & GM- Brand, Media, & Digital Social- Raymond, Madhur Acharya, Vice President E-commerce- Lenskart, Manik Mahajan, Director - Digital Marketing and E-Commerce- Versuni, Niranjan Mutkekar, Associate Director - Digital Marketing- Purplle, Pierre de Greef, Digital Marketing Director- Pernod Ricard India, Priyanka Gandhi, Associate Director - Integrated Marketing Communication & E-commerce Marketing- Colgate Palmolive India, Priyanka Sethi, Director - Head of Marketing- Haier Appliances India, Proshanjit Dey, Marketing Head- Strategy & Innovation, ATL, Digital & Social Media, Nutrition- India & EM Markets- Dr. Reddy's Lab, Puneet Gupta, Business Head - Digital & Marketing- Nuvama Wealth and Rajeev John, Vice President Marketing- Health Care & Strategic Investments- Dabur India.

Adding more to the winner list were Ritu Mittal, Head of Marketing & Digital- Bayer, Sachin Mishra, Digital Marketing Lead- Cipla Health, Sachin Vashishtha, Chief Marketing Officer- Paisabazaar, Sadhana Daswani, Head Brand and Digital- JSW Paints, Saurabh Saini, Head, Digital Marketing & Communication- Havells India, Shaktipriyo Sikdar, Head - Digital Marketing- Emami, Sheena Kapoor, Head - Marketing Corp Comm & CSR- ICICI Lombard, Sunil Nat, Head of E-commerce & Digital Marketing- Galderma, Urmesh Chandra, Head - Digital Marketing- PolicyBazaar.com, Vidya Kailasam Hangal, India Consumer Digital Leader- Mondelez International, Vikram Jeet Bhayana, Head of Marketing- Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, Vinay Dholakia, General Manager - Digital Marketing & Media Head- Tata Motors and Vishal Gaba, Associate Director - Marketing- Bira 91.

Here’s the complete list of winners:




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Disney+ Hotstar offers free streaming of Asia Cup, ICC Men’s Cricket WC on cellphone

Both tournaments will be held later this year

By exchange4media Staff | Jun 9, 2023 11:10 AM   |   1 min read

Disney Star

Disney+ Hotstar has announced that Asia Cup and ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup tournaments being held later this year will be made available as free-to-view to all mobile phone users accessing Disney+ Hotstar.

“Disney+ Hotstar has remained at the forefront of the rapidly evolving OTT industry in India and the various innovations we have introduced to continue enhancing the viewer experience has allowed us to delight our audiences across the region. Making the Asia Cup and ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup available to a wider audience, we believe, will help us grow the overall eco-system,” said Sajith Sivanandan, Head of Disney+ Hotstar.

We reached out to Disney+ Hotstar for a comment on the same but are yet to receive a response.

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e4m-ESP Indian Online Gaming Landscape 2023 Report: Glimpses unveiled

The report seeks to decode the growth of the online gaming landscape in India and focus on how brands can leverage this billion-dollar industry

By exchange4media Staff | Jun 9, 2023 10:54 AM   |   2 min read

Game On

India has witnessed a digital revolution over the past decade, driven by various factors such as technological advancements, government initiatives, increasing internet penetration and the rapid adoption of smartphones. With over 750M active internet users in 2022, the country has become a prime destination for the open internet and all that digital media entails. 

The key driver of India’s digital revolution is gaming, with the country being home to close to 500M individual gamers. The ever-evolving gaming market in India is fuelled by devices, data and digital penetration, all of which are getting cheaper, better, and faster. 

The e4m GameOn Online Summit held in Mumbai today gave a sneak-peek into the much-awaited e4m-ESP Indian Online Gaming Landscape 2023 report. The comprehensive report serves as a compass, guiding stakeholders through the vast opportunities and challenges that lie ahead in the gaming sphere. The detailed report is set to be unveiled soon and will be available for public use.  

Gaming has emerged as a powerful force and the industry has experienced remarkable growth in recent years. 2022 has been a game changing year for the gaming industry in India with publishers, streaming platforms, esports organizers, and teams coming together to create a very healthy gaming ecosystem. It is believed that with professional teams training to compete and win in global tournaments, 2023 may well be a crucial year for esports.

The gaming industry in India has created bundles of opportunities for gamers, making them economically independent. Moreover, e-sports has gained substantial popularity in India and is poised for significant growth in the coming years. The emergence of professional teams, increased prize pools, and a growing fan base, esports is expected to become a mainstream form of entertainment and a lucrative industry in India.




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Sociowash bags eBay India’s integrated digital mandate

The agency will develop performance media strategies while deploying its video production and influencer marketing verticals

By exchange4media Staff | Jun 8, 2023 2:41 PM   |   1 min read

ebay

Sociowash, an integrated advertising agency, has won the integrated digital mandate for eBay India. The agency will be responsible for enhancing the brand’s overall digital presence by developing creative tactical strategies. The account was won in a multi-agency pitch and will be handled by the agency’s Mumbai team, stated a release.

As part of this strategic partnership, Sociowash will be responsible for creating awareness about the brand and executing campaigns to onboard more sellers onto the platform. The agency will provide end-to-end solutions and services for the brand's creative, performance media, video production, and influencer marketing needs while resonating with its target audience and helping them achieve their business objectives.

Pranav Agarwal, the co-founder of Sociowash, commented on the win, "eBay India is a prominent leader in the e-commerce industry. We are elated to have been chosen by them to manage their digital landscape. Our team's extensive experience and expertise will redefine and elevate the brand's digital positioning. Together, we can create an impact that goes beyond what has been achieved before, setting new benchmarks and adding genuine value for the brand"



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Meta Verified now in India

As per reports, the subscription is available for ₹699 monthly on iOS and Android3

By exchange4media Staff | Jun 8, 2023 11:35 AM   |   1 min read

Meta

Meta has said that Meta Verified will now be available in India.

The announcement was made in a post by Mark Zuckerberg who also mentioned that previously verified accounts will maintain the status for free.

Meta Verified in a subscription bundle on FB and Insta.

Subscribers will get a badge indicating their account has been verified with a government ID, extra protection against impersonation, direct access to customer support and more visibility, the company had earlier said.

As per media reports, this subscription is available for ₹699 monthly on iOS and Android3. The company also plans to introduce a web purchase option for ₹599 a month.

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e4m GameOn Summit to explore the future of gaming

The conference will be held on June 9

By exchange4media Staff | Jun 8, 2023 8:55 AM   |   2 min read

GameOn

The gaming market in India is dynamic and is a rapidly evolving ecosystem. Gaming has emerged as a powerful force and the industry has experienced remarkable growth in recent years and continues to expand at a rapid pace. The widespread availability of affordable internet access, affordable data plans, has led to a surge in online gaming, allowing people across the country to access and engage with various gaming platforms. In order to explore the gaming industry further, e4m has announced the third edition of the e4m GameOn-Online Gaming Summit. The conference is set to be held on June 9 in Mumbai. The Presenting Partner of the event is AnyMind, the Growth Partner is Mobavenue while AdScholars is the Co-partner.

At the conference, top leaders from the gaming ecosystem will come together and share insights on key topics under the theme ‘Online Gaming, The Next Big Thing?’. The summit will also give a sneak-peek to the much-awaited e4m-GroupM ESP Report on the Indian online gaming landscape. 

As per industry experts, 2022 was one of the landmark years for the Indian esports and gaming industry, as publishers, streaming platforms, esports organizers, and teams came together to create a very healthy ecosystem. It is believed that with professional teams training to compete and win in global tournaments, 2023 may well be a breakout year for esports.

Click here to see the full agenda: https://e4mevents.com/e4m-GameOn-2023/agenda 

Due to the advancements in technology, the gaming market is only getting bigger. Top leaders and experts from the gaming industry are set to come together under one roof to discuss the opportunities, challenges and the future of the gaming industry in India. The e4m Summit explores the industry’s rapidly growing revenue streams, the drivers of growth, the changing demographics of the gaming universe, and ways brands can seize the opportunity to target consumers.

To ensure you don’t miss out on valuable insights, click here to register: 

https://e4mevents.com/e4m-GameOn-2023/login 




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e4m Digital Marketing Leaders Awards: Inaugural edition on June 9

The awards recognize and honour digital marketing leaders for their impactful strategies, campaigns and innovations

By exchange4media Staff | Jun 8, 2023 8:51 AM   |   1 min read

digital marketing awards

Digital marketing leaders play a crucial role in shaping the industry and driving innovation. Their expertise, insights, strategies and vision help others advance their knowledge and understanding of digital marketing practices. These leaders inspire the next generation of marketers and help the industry grow. 

With an aim to honour the great minds in the digital marketing sphere, the exchange4media Group is hosting the first edition of the e4m Digital Marketing Leaders Awards on June 9 in Mumbai. The awards night will celebrate and acknowledge the stars of the domain in India and witness the coming together of some of the best brands, individuals and agencies. Spotify Advertising is the Celebratory Partner of the event while Lemma is the Networking Partner.

e4m Digital Marketing Leaders Awards acknowledges the great leaders who have developed & implemented successful digital strategies, campaigns, and innovations by leveraging new technologies for digital marketing. The awards aim to inspire leaders to stay ahead of the curve and unlock their full potential as digital marketers by felicitating pioneers in the digital marketing sphere.

The star-studded awards night is a perfect opportunity to network with the best and brightest minds from the digital marketing ecosystem, expand knowledge and get an overview of the functioning of several digital marketing agencies.

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