Thursday, January 7, 2016

IndiaPost serves notice to Birla MF over radio ad.

MUMBAI: The Department of Posts served a notice this week to Aditya Birla Group and Big FM Radio Channel over a radio advertisement for Birla Sun Life Mutual Funds. The department has demanded an apology and wants the advertisement - which it claims disparages 'registered post' and 'speed post' services - to be taken off air.


The Hindi radio ad in question begins with a boss asking an employee to urgently send a mail. The employee responds by asking whether he should choose 'registered post' or 'speed post'. The voice on the radio goes on to describe the services as 'sust' (lethargic) methods which do not help in reaching your destination in time. It then goads listeners to choose mutual funds which are effective investment tools. Although the intention of the advertisement appears to be aimed at comparing electronic mail with physical mail, it does not expressly say so. Also, the description of 'registered post' and 'speed post' as lethargic has rankled the department.


According to sources, The department is upset because it feels that the ad perpetuates a misconception about 'registered post' and 'speed post' services, which have been audited by the CAG and certified to be superior to private courier services. When queried about the notice, P N Ranjit Kumar, postmaster general (Mumbai), said, "Department of Posts will not take kindly to attempts to malign its products and we will do whatever is required to protect the value of its brands."


The advertisement comes at a time when IndiaPost is seeking to revise its profile as an efficient logistics and financial services provider. The department is one of the recipients of an in-principle approval for a payments bank licence. Incidentally, the Aditya Birla Group has also received an in-principle approval for a payments bank from the Reserve Bank of India.

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