Zomato is being pulled apart in a polarised India⁠ for pushing advertising money to back a partisan news outfit

Zomato is being pulled apart in a polarised India⁠ for pushing advertising money to back a partisan news outfit
BCCL
  • Actress Swara Bhasker pointed 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 Swiggy rose higher on Twitter.
Controversies keep knocking on Zomato’s door and this time around, the $3.6 billion Indian foodtech unicorn is caught in the middle of a tweet storm.

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!”


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.
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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.


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.

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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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