Congress, which has been losing its electoral foothold in the country ever since 2014, has been upping its election game while the country votes to elect their government in 2019. While Rahul Gandhi was recently forced to apologise to the Supreme Court for attributing the ‘chowkidar chor hai’ remark to the SC, he has been running pillar to post answering summons and notices for his lies. Amidst all of this, a poster of the Congress party surfaced, that had the face of Rahul Gandhi with Rajiv Gandhi in the background. The poster prominently used the logo of Star TV and also its slogan.
The poster is made by a Twitter handle called @BandeMeinHaiDum. One would think that this is just a random Twitter handle, like thousands of others and hence, the poster should not be taken seriously.
However, the handle @BandeMeinHaiDum is followed by the official Twitter handle of Congress Haryana.
Website ‘Boom’ conducted an analysis of several Facebook and Twitter pages that are part of the official campaign of the Congress party. One of those pages was @BandeMeinHaiDum. Boom found that this page does not declare anywhere that it is a part of the official Congress campaign, however, its ad expenditure on Facebook was sponsored by DesignBoxed, which is a political campaign management company hired by Congress.
Pallavi Ghosh, who is a known Congress loyalist, had also covered how ‘Bande main hai dum’ is a part of the Congress campaign with videos and memes being shared around that theme.
Not only did the poster come from a handle that is a part of the official Congress campaign and is followed by Congress Haryana, but the poster also got further legitimacy when Pallavi Ghosh herself shared the poster on Twitter.
Notice the rajiv gandhi image in silhouette … pic.twitter.com/LXd9h626Nz
— pallavi ghosh (@_pallavighosh) May 1, 2019
The poster clearly uses the Star TV logo and the tagline used by Star TV, ‘rishta wahi soch nahi’. The logo and tagline of any brand is its copyright and they hold absolute intellectual property rights over it. Unless expressly allowed, the logo and tagline of a channel like Star TV cannot be used for political campaigning by any party.
Several people took to Twitter to ask Star TV whether they had officially partnered with Congress for the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections and whether they had given their express consent for the Congress party to use their logo and tagline to promote Rahul Gandhi.
— Chowkidar Spaminder Bharti (@attomeybharti) May 1, 2019
Kindly clarify @StarPlus because then I need to decide on unsubscribing your subscription.
— प्रियंका (@Thakran_P) May 1, 2019
A Television channel partnering with and giving consent to a political party to use their intellectual property for campaigning would have been a serious concern for several people.
OpIndia reached out to Star TV to get a clarification on the issue. We asked the channel whether they had given the Congress party consent to use their logo and tagline as a part of their political campaigning and to promote Rahul Gandhi.
Star TV spokesperson responded to OpIndia and said:
“We confirm that no permission has been given by Star India for use of its trademark or logo in support of any political campaign.”