Creativity with No Conscience

Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 2003 , Published on 27 November 2011

There is no denying the fact that “Honesty is not a good policy or read (good selling policy)” for the marketers. Expecting an ad to be honest is as good as saying, Tiger Woods never cheated on his wife! Marketing lies are rampant in every sector and are plaguing the Indian consumer like never before. Let’s scrutinize some of the most “harried” sectors to exemplify these claims.



We are the No 1 CAT coaching centre in Chinchpokli, We have successfully placed "X" amount of students, Our students have got "Y" amount of calls from "Z" amount of B-schools. Yes, we agree you have managed to successfully place a humungous number of students from your institute but would you be kind enough to mention the total batch strength? Yes "YOUR HARD WORK" has helped the students get calls from B schools but whose responsibility is it to tell us whether they are final admission calls or interview calls? An Institute of Hotel Management claims they have been voted the "Top Hotel Management of the Country" by "Competition and Success Review"! "Competition and Success Review??? Can it get any vaguer??


“Hairfall control in 4 months, fairer skin in 8 months, attract sexy girls in 12 months!!! Give us a break guys! This sector has soiled itself with so much dirt that it should be renamed as False Marketing of consumer goods. Take the example of a leading shampoo brand ad which said that 15 crore women have signed up for the shampoo brand (based on third party panel data from 2009-2010 across Asia). Who are the third party panel people who have come up with the magical figure of 15 crore women for that shampoo and what exactly does signing up mean?? And 89% women of Indian women say that the new product is better than anything else that they have ever tried before. Really?? On the basis of the 360 women that they surveyed, who were not even using that shampoo? Nothing but a classic example of fraudulent and deceptive marketing.


A leading newspaper says it’s the “The No.1 Daily for the independent people, for the new Indian and for tomorrow’s leader!! It seems as if somebody just opened up the dictionary and selected random words and made an ad out of it rather than putting numbers to substantiate the claims


For a leading DTH TV service providers, lifetime means a span of not more than 7 years. Because they will be providing “Free regional pack for a lifetime” to the consumers despite the fact that their DTH license is valid up to only May 2018. For another DTH, True HD channels = Up scaled SD channels. They say they provide the maximum number of HD channels, when most of them are SD channels which have been up scaled to HD. Typically a case where the company is exploiting the lack of consumer’s awareness regarding the HD technology.

These were examples in only some of the sectors. But, marketing lies have not left any sector untouched. Let’s clearly accept the fact that the Indian consumer is not so naïve that he believes all the tall claims with no evidence what so ever that the brands make. Then why the blatant lies?? Why do brands want to betray the trust of their customers? Why can’t they just dare to say the truth? The call of the day is CREATIVITY with CONSCIENCE – advertising which is responsibly done. The sooner this realization dawns on the marketers, the better, because dishonesty does not pay off for long.


This article has been authored by Urvashi Jain from NMIMS. The views of the author are personal.


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