The right to advertise – Sonia Gandhi style

soniaThe political folks and parties have this additional right granted by some invisible lines in our constitution. Its called the right to advertise!

Sonia Gandhi was in Bangalore today, so some folks painted the town saffron and green with a million posters, each bearing faces of “local leaders” like planets around the Sun-ia Gandhi.

Yes, I know BMP’s new e-governance focused website lists all authorized hoardings. I did check those (how hopeful of me) pages to see if any of these thousand posters were authorized. As per the website listings as of today, these are not. And I will save you the hassle of an RTI application by telling you that the Congress Party did not pay any money to BMP over or under the table to put up these banners.

So essentially, it was a case of (ab)using their “right to advertise”. And the only folks who made money in the process were Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Canon. I do wonder if these printer and ink companies encourage all these political rallies :). If I were a printer salesman, I would.

PS: Wonder what would happen if Coke or Pepsi were to paint the town cola-brown with a similar unauthorized ad campaign!? Any guesses? BMP as well as these political parties will go hammer and tongs at these MNCs.
Update (Sep 4): Read a piece in the papers this morning that translates to:

Congress paid BMP for 37 posters only. But they put up more than a thousand. BMP has filmed and photographed many such violations, and has asked Congress for an explanation.

Well done BMP. Make sure you make an example out of it, and collect heavy fines from this cash rich political party.

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4 Responses

  1. “Power corrupts.Absolute power corrupts absolutely” – He who pays the piper calls the tune is true for power also. As it is advertising is called legalized lying. At least it applies to politicians. That’s the bright part.

  2. It is more about BMP practising what it preaches than about politicians etc. We have diff set of laws for politicos.

    Like at Chennai airport, some French journolists who were caught smoking were almost roughed up. Whereas ex-minister C M Ibrahim was let go without any enquiry when he almost carried a gun and bullets into the plane.

  3. Good point silkboard! We all see these hoardings every time such a rally happens, but how many of us stop to think that these are illegal. Good catch. Also, good to see that BMP has actually acted on it.

  4. thanks Mohan.

    BMP has again said they will penalise Congress. I am keen to know how much fine Cong will be made to pay.

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