PUBLICITY GIMMICKS: HOW FAR IS TOO FAR?
Bollywood talks about no-holds-barred stunts in view of the fake kidnapping of Tamil actor Varalaxmi
The alleged kidnapping of Tamil actor Varalaxmi Sarathkumar (top), and then the revelation that it was just a fake news for the sake of her film’s publicity, leads to a debate on how far is going too far to sell a product.
Tamil film publicist Nikkil Murugan sent Twitter into a tizzy on Tuesday, when he posted a picture (above) of the actor gagged and tied on a bed. The caption read: “#VaralaxmiGotKidnapped”.
Hours later, as panic levels were peaking, Varalaxmi tweeted, saying it was all for a promotion. The backlash was severe, the crew slammed for trivialising kidnapping.
Talking to HT City, Varalaxmi says, “I had no clue that such a tweet was being posted. I was in Delhi... at that very moment. It was only when I got a call telling me that something of this sort had happened, that I found out.” She says that the possibility of such a stunt was discussed, but she had nixed it. “But it’s done now. It’s okay, this is all a part of showbiz,” she adds.
Is it really okay? Bollywood actor Saqib Saleem says that he’s against using a falsehood to publicise a film. “Misleading anyone or creating a false perception is wrong,” he says.
Film publicists are divided on this. Abhishek Thukral says that such gimmicks never assure a film’s success, they only inspire some memes. Diksha Punjabi is of the view that such a gimmick might work, as youngsters may think that “the filmmakers managed to pull of something really cool and crazy.”
Everyone wants to sell their wares in a cluttered marketing space, but no one should do illegal things. A stunt may create intrigue; it doesn’t work for promotion VIKRAM BHATT, FILMMAKER All is fair in love and war and promotions until people’s personal health and safety are compromised. There’s a fine line that needn’t be crossed RICHA CHADHA, ACTOR