Marketing Responsibly: Sam Balsara, Nandita Das, Vivek Bahl discuss the fairer side of the story
To celebrate the completion of 25 years, ASCI had organized a seminar called ‘Marketing Responsibly’. One session in that seminar focused on the women’s side and the panelists discussed topics such as portrayal of women in the media and how advertising affects women.
The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), the premier advertising body in India, had held a day long seminar titled ‘Marketing Responsibly’ to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of ASCI. The event was held on June 10, 2010 at the Trident Hotel in Mumbai.
A session on ‘Marketing Responsibly: The women’s side’ saw the participation of actor and director Nandita Das, and Vivek Bahl, Senior Creative Director, Star India. Sam Balsara, Chairman and Managing Director, Madison World, moderated the session.
Das said that she was not influenced too much by advertising. She, however, added that everyone was influenced by advertising to a certain degree. She gave a personal example and said that she found that women in a certain villages did not have enough money to have one square meal, but they still had expired packets of ‘Fair & Lovely’ in their houses.
Bahl spoke about the portrayal of reality in television and said that the concept of the shows was changing and that the portrayal of ‘saas-bahu’ had been altering as well. “Much of our shows are more progressive than they are being given credit for,” he added.
Balsara wanted to know whether there was any internal body that helped the channel select the content for the shows. Bahl said that the discretion lay solely with the creative team and as of now there was no internal body for that. Adding to that, Das said that everyone can be small agents of change in their own small way.
After that, Balsara posed a question to Bahl on whether the portrayal of women in ads and TV content had changed in a progressive way. To this Bahl replied that he strongly felt that the portrayal of women had definitely been progressive. He explained that this would have a positive effect on the audience as the committed viewers were based in smaller towns and are not in big cities.
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