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Sambhar Mafia - Cooked To Kill!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

ToI & Amity: Partners in Crime

Peter Foster of The Telegraph has some observations about the journalistic standards of ToI. He spots an Amity ad, which resembles any other ToI article.

Under a news story about Board Examination results is a ‘story’ headlined “Rush for Amity University Forms shows preference for professional degrees”. The story has a byline and is a font identical to all the other stories on the same page.

As I read the ‘story’ I couldn’t understand why the journalist was producing such a shameless puff/advert for the Amity University brand. No other University was given so much of a mention to justify this apparent trend.

However it was only right at the end that I understood what was going on when the last word was, in small print, ‘Advt’.

Be it TV or print, Amity has been making a conscious attempt to make their ads look like the regular content of the TV / newspaper. Amity also seems to be influencing the shooting locations of CNN-IBN (via):

Amity School has been advertising furiously on all channels but perhaps more so on CNN-IBN and maybe there is a bit of quid pro quo going on here. A debate on the issue of reservations was conducted by the channel on the school's NOIDA premises with considerable airtime being given to the principal of Amity School.

I think Amity can make more money if they offer a course called Masters in Media Management. You are atleast assured of a job in Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd or TV18 :-)


  • They aren't know as ToIlet for nothing.

    By Anonymous Vijay Krishna, at 6:21 PM  

  • Well u have to expect this from TOI...atleast we have to be thankful that they have mentioned the word 'Advt'...they have been known to publish ads without it...


    By Anonymous Shri, at 8:58 PM  

  • And I certainly know what to expect of Amity.

    By Blogger Mridula, at 12:03 AM  

  • I read a couple of days back that Google is planning to push blended adsense. Maybe TOI is the pioneer in print ;-) Seriously, TOI is the worst newspaper in the world.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:43 AM  

  • Hmm... this can be expected of ToI, but I didn't think CNN-IBM would fall to such standards

    By Blogger Nirav, at 10:01 AM  

  • Believe me, I kept wondering the whole day after reading the 'advertorial' if Amity was that good that students are rushing for admissions there. It reminded me of one of the billboard/hoarding advertisements I see everyday in one of the stations in Delhi Metro Yellow Line and couldn't help but think that whether those advertisements were actually having an impact.

    Only after going through your post I came to know it was really an advertorial!

    However, this is not new. This has been going on for the past several years now that started from the West.

    Besides, why do we forget that when commercial interests are gratified, TOI has no limits to depths to which it can stoop.

    I personally thank you for bringing as I stand disabused on that particular ad. I am sure there would be many who would share similar sentiments.

    I guess I will have to write a post on this sooner than later. One major reason is that this is the admission season. Time to take stock of a few bloated names in the education industry.

    By Blogger Beau Peep, at 5:27 PM  

  • ah, some toi bashing! :) but truth to tell, these ads are not uncommon in most publications. We try to keep them out, but they do come in, for instance the IIPM ads in the hindu. They are supposed to make prominent the word ADVERTORIAL above these ads, which we do, but sometimes it aint that prominent after all. :)

    By Blogger None, at 8:27 PM  

  • Incidentally Amity has taken out a double spread AD in India Todays latest issue. Talks about their 40000 students, 2500 faculty, 600 acres of campus. Reminds me of what a blogger friend said "quality markets itself!". Amity, no doubt will tap TOI!!! Ore kuttaila oorina matte!

    By Blogger Aishwarya Rao, at 1:28 AM  

  • @VK,

    you are right...they are known for that as well.

    I think that Amity is seriously hoping that they can change their image (Interpol alert etc) by doing such big bang campaigns

    Atleast Google openly acknowledges it.

    This is definitely a blackmark for CNN-IBN. I'm sure they can still make money without resorting to such tactics.

    @Beau Peep,
    People are likely to get carried away during the admission season. that is what Amity would be hoping.

    got the msg. will look for the advertorial in The Hindu

    I would want somebody to vet the information presented by Amity. I guess this ad has appeared in the College ranking brought out by India Today.

    By Blogger Kaps, at 5:57 PM  

  • ToI is known for such quackery. Their April fool pranks (those fake headlines) often leave ppl bemused since they are no different from the usual stuff they print !

    By Blogger Jayan, at 9:00 PM  

  • Point well brought out man...

    By Blogger Shankar Iyer, at 8:48 PM  

  • Myself is a victim of Amity ads. After watching ads in TV18, sent my son to Amity for Aerospace engineering. Exactly after one month we received our only child's dead body from Amity. Owner of Amity himself is a wanted criminal. For more details visit

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:26 PM  

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