E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: Much of television is generally mind-numbing, but the latest TV commercial for the TVS two-wheeler, Wego, insults your intelligence like nothing else.
When accidents are spiralling out of control, when we are facing a spurt of head injuries and teenage deaths, when traffic police and NGOs are exercised over how to curb all this without playing spoilsport, here comes a TVC which shows teenage girls new ways of embracing death—by doing acrobatics on a pillion- ride on a scooter.
Obviously, the commercial comes with the standard disclaimer, usually glossed over by idiot box watchers, that the ad is performed by professionals and is not to be tried at home.
Still, what is the message that the commercial sends out to its target group, young men and their impressionable girlfriends, a daughter to some, a sister to somebody else?
That trying out such stunts is hep?
That such callisthenics “rock”?
That putting your life on the line to show your love is “fun”?
Does T.V. Sundaram Iyengar & Sons—a solid, “conservative”, family-run company that prides itself on its values and ethics—have no qualms of what such advertising could be doing to young minds, if not in urban centres at least in the small towns and villages, where too such commercials are received?
Has TVS heard of “peer pressure”? Or hasn’t it?
When will we ever learn that there is no need for bravado on the streets? Safety should be the criterion. As it is, our terrible roads, insufficient lights, monster vehicles, maniacal drivers—and mobile phones—play a daily of dance with our young ones. take enough lives.
TVS takes it to a new height. Or is it depth?
I know I can write to the advertising standards council of India (ASCI) and complain, but does TVS really require a fiat from the industry body to react?