Zomato is being pulled apart in a polarised India for pushing advertising money to back a partisan news outfit
Swara Bhaskerpointed out that Zomato’s ads were displayed on Republic TV– a national media channel helmed by Arnab Goswami.
- Zomato responded to Bhasker saying that it doesn’t endorse any content other than its own, and that didn’t sit well with supporters of the television channel.
- This resulted in “boycottzomato” trending, while calls for its rival
Swiggyrose higher on Twitter.
It all started when an actor Swara Bhasker pointed out that Zomato’s ads were displayed on Republic TV, a national media channel helmed by Arnab Goswami that is often in controversy for its blatant support of the current Indian government and polarising narratives. Bhasker said that being a loyal user, she wasn’t okay with her “money even indirectly funding this kind of communal bigoted hate!”
Hey @zomatoin @zomato @deepigoyal I’m your regular customer.. do u plan to #DefundTheHate & pull your ads from hate… https://t.co/aIOfjlRVv8— Swara Bhasker (@ReallySwara) 1605688561000
Earlier, the likes of Bajaj Auto and FMCG major Parle had said that they were pulling ads from Republic TV because of it being a “toxic” news channel and the TV channel, which is also accused of manipulating ratings.
However, that’s not where it ended. Zomato responded to Bhasker saying that it doesn’t endorse any content other than its own, and that didn’t sit well with supporters of the television channel.
@ReallySwara @zomatoin @zomato @deepigoyal @Republic_Bharat Hi Swara, please note, we don’t endorse any content exc… https://t.co/SNXxZJpT1k— zomato care (@zomatocare) 1605701281000
Even this measured response resulted in “boycottzomato” trending, and those slamming Zomato, and its founder Deepinder Goyal, threatened to shift their business to rival Swiggy.
Hey @zomatoin @zomato @deepigoyal @zomatocare this is your big moment... this is your big test... decide who is you… https://t.co/oV5NhjakEv— Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri (@vivekagnihotri) 1605715843000
This is not the first time Zomato has angered India’s Hindu right wing
But this isn’t the first time Zomato has been caught in a controversy like this. Zomato had shutdown a bigoted customer, who refused to take an order from a delivery guy of a different religion. Zomato replied, “Food doesn’t have a religion. It is a religion”, while its co-founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal said he wasn’t sorry to let go of any business that comes in the way of their values.
Even while Zomato’s reply sent thousands of trolls their way, the company took a stand on the issue.
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