There could not be a better time to take over the reins at Campaign India. Nearly all of India seems to be running one campaign or another.
If it's not the political drama, it's our love for Indian culture. It's Jallikattu, the bull-taming sport of Tamil Nadu that took the nation by storm in the last few days. Practically, everyone took sides on whether the Supreme Court ban on Jallikattu was justified or not.
Southern cinema-stars, who are demi-gods in the state of Tamil Nadu protested against the ban. So did spiritual gurus like Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. The campaign was not restricted to Tamil Nadu. People from other parts of the country, who found it difficult to even pronounce the name of the sport, also jumped on board – through social media, posters at railway stations, street corner debates and so on. There are allegations that the ban is a conspiracy by activists to cleanse India of its native cow breed and flood the country with exotic cattle breeds of Jersey, Holstein Friesian and so on. Animal activists said it was the cruelty to native animals that troubled them the most about the sport.
At another level, there was a Twitter troll campaign against a campaign, when Devita Saraf of VU Technologies ran a print ad congratulating Donald Trump on his swearing-in as the US President. There was also the issue of trolls targeting Dangal star Zaira Wasim. This time, Twitterati stood up to defend the star.
With campaigns of every kind capturing public imagination, when I announced to a set of friends that I would be joining Campaign India, one friend wondered if I am joining an activist organisation like Greenpeace or Peta. Thankfully, he is not from the media and advertising space, where the Campaign brand has carved a niche for itself globally for nearly five decades.
Even in India, where Campaign completes ten years this September, the brand has become the preferred brand for industry leaders and is an authoritative voice on industry issues. My job is to build on the solid work done by my predecessors, rather than become the bull in the China shop. We might change the bathwater, but take care of the baby.
Taking advantage of our global presence, Campaign continues to bring in cutting edge views on marketing, advertising and media from across the globe. We are also in the process of building a strong team of local industry veterans to beef up coverage on issues that are relevant to our Indian audience. While doing all this we shall maintain an impartial stance and draw your attention to all sides of a debate. Trust me, that’s not a cock and bull story.
(The author is the managing editor, Campaign India. He can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org)