This David Vs Goliath business is now getting funnier by the day what with, the Arnab vs TOI saga now taking a new twist.
What I hoped would be a rather normal day at Pune, turned out to be quite exciting for the eternal media watcher in me.
My social media timelines were ridden with Arnab’s open letter to his viewers on how he was being intimidated by a legal notice restraining him on the use of ‘The nation wants to Know’ and how the media group ( TOI in this case ) was giving it all, to pin him down.
Apparently it threatened him with arrest etc; Predictably, what followed was this huge wave of sentiment and a blitzkrieg of comments that ranged from “ Go for it” to “ We’re with you Arnab”.
Most touching. His way with words is certainly worth mention and how he well he used this, to garner positive mileage for his impending launch is commendable. The comments on the Republic TV page on FB was by now numbering over 1500. Emotions were running high and the messages were being posted with a reckless fury. This goes on unabated right at this very moment…
What caught my eye, however, was his public statement of how this line ( nation wants to know) is for the whole country to use, and it cannot be usurped or protected by this media house or anyone for that matter.
Matters of intellectual property rights are of great interest to me and a few minutes of research is what it took to unearth a few interesting details…
Mr.Goswami, I have great respect for your journalism, but isn’t it rather strange that your company (ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd ) had *applied for this very trademark / ‘word mark’ in January 2017 among several others?
This application was rejected unfortunately for your channel as records show; this was already applied for (December 2016) by Times TV. So much for it being for the nation to use.
And this 6-page threat that you talk about is am sure, no different from the standard “Cease and Desist” notice that any holder sends if their IP or trademark is infringed upon.
This pertains to a specific clause of the IPC mentioning imprisonment among others punishments for contravention of the law. I would imagine you would have sent a similar notice to Times TV or anyone else for that matter if you had seen that application through.
Now, I really wonder what all this noise is about? You apply for the very same phrase trademark that gets rejected and then issue a retort, saying this is for the world at large and cannot be appropriated. Sour grapes to me.
Why this love for media martyrdom? Do you really need this to compete in the marketplace? Isn’t the rhetoric best left to the studio?
On the flip side, yes, it does help give the channel a lot of free mileage and I think that’s a jolly good, cost-effective idea if that was the intention. Different matter that a lot of the social media lapped it up, went overboard and started singing your praise. Why Mr.Goswami? Why ?!
Honestly what beats me, however, is why Arnab Goswami is suffering from a dearth of ideas when it comes to creating a good title or slogan for his programme. He’s a great journalist and this should be child’s play!
As a thumb rule, there is no reason why anyone should ride on the legacy of a brand resonance more so, when it is so damn synonymous with a group / competition you are taking on. This now isn’t sensible brand building.
For the record, I am no great fan of the TOI Group and/or its policies and style of functioning ( despite having worked there for 15 years ) but I do call a spade a spade, no matter who or what gets to me.
I will get to the bottom of this and lots more as we go along, but for now, it’s time to fetch myself yet another glass of buttermilk to brave the horrid heat wave in Pune.
*This information is available online and can be viewed on the Ministry of Commerce ( Government of India ) Website.
Jd also consults in Consumer Neuroscience and Neuromarketing, both of which are integral to his brand interventions.