Category Archives: media

Tata Sons wins case against Oktatabyebye.com

World Intellectual Property Organization HQ in...
WIPO – Image via Wikipedia

[tweetmeme source=”gautamghosh”]This is a little weird. I have tremendous respect for the Tata group but this case against the travel community site oktatabyebye.com doesn’t make sense or logic unless they want to manage the community too.

Interesting thing to note is that MakeMyTrip which owns the domain is talking to the community and building up quite a support, however I don’t come across anything similar by the Tata folks.

As they say:

Very recently, TATA Sons filed a case against us (oktatabyebye.com) in infringement of their TATA name (as our domain name contains the ‘TATA’ word!). Tata Sons has contended that it is confusingly similar to its ‘Tata’ brand and the travel portal runner has no rights or legitimate interests to use it. The company had argued that the site infringed the right of its registered trademark/service mark ‘Tata’.

And in a decision by a sole panelist, ownership of the domain OkTataByeBye.com has been awarded to TATA by WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) Arbitration and Mediation Centre.

Needless to say we’re alarmed by such claims on our domain name. The Oktatabyebye.com domain name is importantly a representative of the colloquial “OK Ta Ta Bye Bye”, which represents travel, journey and related activities, referring to the generic word “Ta Ta”.

Nikhil Pahwa blogs at Medianama

MakeMyTrip (which owned the oktatabyebye domain) is going to appeal against the order, CEO Deep Kalra has told MediaNama, adding that ”Ta ta is a generic that everyone understands.” Strangely enough, there is no appeals process at WIPO, so MakeMyTrip will file an appeal in India to stay the transfer of the domain name.

What is that they say about people who live in glass houses? Via Twitter, Cleartrip informs us that MakeMyTrip owns Cleartrip.net.in. Unlike Ta ta, I don’t think Cleartrip is a generic, is it?

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US CEOs not interested in Blogs, Social Media

Interesting findings:

Research conducted by the blog UberCEO.com found that only two CEOs had Twitter accounts and 81 percent of CEOs did not have a personal Facebook page.

Only 13 CEOs had profiles on the professional networking site LinkedIn. Three CEOs stood out with more than 80 connections but they were all from technology companies — Michael Dell from computer maker Dell Inc., Gregory Spierkel from technology products distributor Ingram Micro Inc., and John Chambers from Cisco Systems Ltd.

Three quarters of the CEOs did have some kind of Wikipedia entry, but nearly a third of those had limited or outdated information such as incorrect titles, or lacked sources.

Not one Fortune 100 CEO had a blog.

“It’s shocking that the top CEOs can appear to be so disconnected from the way their own customers are communicating. They’re giving the impression that they’re disconnected, disengaged and disinterested,” said Sharon Barclay, editor at UberCEO.com who runs executive PR firm Blue Trumpet Group.

“No doubt regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley and Reg-FD make CEOs cautious about communicating freely, but they’re missing a fabulous opportunity to connect with their target audience and raise their company’s visibility,” Barclay said, referring to financial reporting regulations aimed at protecting investors.

Interestingly according to Digital Inspiration a few Indian CEOs are blogging, but if you arrange companies by size I reckon the findings might be similar to the CEO study in the US – or worse.

The Indian CEOs who are blogging are Mohan Babu (Infosys), Rajeev Karwal (Milagrow), Ajit Balakrishnan (Rediff.com), Sanjeev Bikhchandani(Naukri.com), Basab Pradhan (Gridstone), Jay Pullur (Pramati), B.G. Mahesh (OneIndia.in), Arindam Chaudhuri(IIPM), Anaggh Desai (Damas India)

Inducements for Bloggers

Bhanu at the Indian Social Media blog posts about the practice:

Prizes, Money and expensive gifts do spoil people’s mind and their skills. But one has to understand and make their own decision, whether to support these acts or discourage these acts. Believe me, being in a controlled messaging world, I feel social media is a place where one can express his or her views openly without any hassles.

I recently came across few blogger communities who are equally supporting these acts. Please guys.. why can’t we keep these communities clean and not handover ourselves to these selfish motives.

Certainly, there are other marketers who understand the value of Blogs and other Social Media Platforms, who see that they don’t loose out the essence of this platform. I would term Social Media as People’s Media.

So let people decide what is wrong and what is right and not try to influence them with Gifts & Prizes. Of course, there can be gratifications, but there should not be any motive behind it.

What do you think? 

I think the following are OK:

  1. Marketers contacting bloggers to try out a product/service without any obligation for a ‘positive review’ – Heck, just getting exposure on a big blog and participating in conversations about the product and features is a big deal, IMHO.
  2. Bloggers making it public that the product was given to try out and they are reviewing it as a goodwill gesture. This has to fit in with the overall voice of the blog. 
  3. If the product is being given as a gift – then the blogger has to make that clear too – as that would impact the overall perception of the post. 

Overall the blogger has to ensure that his/her integrity is not called to question – if that happens the whiplash from the reader and blogger community can be vicious and have tonnes of negative fallout for both the brand as well as the blogger. 

Losing an audience means no more such inducements in the future. As the old adage goes – it’s tough to build up reputation but quite easy to lose it.

And check this example out:

Coca-Cola Co. decided to let its users dominate discussion about the soft drink on Facebook.

The popular Coke fan page on the social networking site wasn’t created by the company, but rather by Los Angeles actor Dusty Sorg and writer Michael Jedrzejewski. It had more than a million fans when Facebook called Coca-Cola to alert them that the page violated the social network’s terms of service because it wasn’t operated by the trademark owner. Take over the site, Facebook told Coke, or we’ll take it down.

Instead, the beverage maker flew the pair to its Atlanta headquarters in January, took them to a hockey game, gave them a VIP tour of the Coke museum and let them play Eric Clapton’s guitar, then proposed that they officially run the page for the company. The two agreed. It now has more than 3 million users.

“Our social media marketing approach is that we want to be everywhere our consumers are,” said Michael Donnelly, Coke’s director of global interactive marketing. “There’s significant risk in being perceived the wrong way.”

Update: A blogger shared recently that a firm he applied to asked him to review their product on his blog. When he asked if it was part of the application process, they said it wasn’t. He didn’t get round to doing it – as he was unsure what kind of blog post they were expecting out of him.

The organization also hasn’t got back to him on his application process.

For the people?

You know, recently a journalist was murdered in Sri Lanka. And he knew he would be killed.

An Indian journalist recently refused to accept the government’s civilian award

Another Indian journalist cannot however take the criticism of a blogger and has probably sent him a legal notice forcing him to take off the post from his blog. Blogbharti link here

Er, puts a totally different spin on “We, the people”, doesn’t it?

Business Awards rigged?

K at “Don’t trust the Indian Media!” posts an email apparently from the Outlook Money editor Monika Halan that lets the cat out of the bag about business awards. It states:

The OLM Awards are being used to fulfil the advertising goals of
the Group. In fact, we were all part of the meeting where we were told
that the award should have gone to LIC despite it not making the cut
since it is a large company with many readers as policyholders. In a
subsequent mail from the President, I was told that the concern is
that LIC has withdrawn all ads to the Outlook Group. I see it as a
clear conflict of interest between ad and edit, especially since edit
has sincerely worked on the awards in an attempt to make them the most
unbiased awards in the country — and for which we involved eminent
market professionals like Dr R.H. Patil of CCIL and Ravi Narian of
NSE.