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Top businessman in storm over use of brand video on Twitter

ixigo’s head of content has accused Harsh Goenka, chairman of RPG Group, of using the brand’s film on social media without permission or credits.

Harsh Goenka makes for an unusual presence on twitter. Indian businessmen are almost always boring and politically correct but the chairman of RPG Group (turnover; Rs 25,500 crore) is entertaining and irreverent. No wonder that he has 1.5 million followers on Twitter.

Goenka’s followers got a shock yesterday when Aashish Chopra, VP, content marketing at the travel website ixigo, accused him of plagiarism. “After all the effort in creating original videos and tireless teamwork, people blatantly remove the logo and post (it) as their own. No one wants to work on execution, just be lazy and plagiarise. Not cool,” was Chopra’s rude comment on LinkedIn. The post was accompanied by a screen grab of Goenka’s Twitter post.

The 51-second ixigo video at the heart of the fracas is titled, ‘Sounds we miss.’ It is a nostalgia trip of the sounds and announcements the Indian traveller is typically bombarded with at airports and railway stations – from a hawker’s sales pitch on a platform to in-flight announcements. It ends with the message, ‘Stay home, travel later.’ The film was posted on social media by ixigo on May 1.

Sounds we miss...😉

Posted by ixigo on Friday, May 1, 2020

Though the case is unusual, the practice of using someone else’s content on in one’s social media posts without due credit is rampant. People don’t give the ethics of it a thought though the use of content is clearly unfair to the creator.

Only a few days ago the creative director of a reputed ad agency who also runs a YouTube channel told us that social media users and pages often use clippings from his videos and posted it as theirs. “In certain cases, the views on these stolen clippings were way more than what I got on my own channel. And I don’t get a penny out of it,” he complained bitterly.

Chopra followed his first salvo with another post accompanied by a screen grab. This one showed that Goenka had blocked him on Twitter. The irate head of content at ixigo fired another set of acerbic allegations of plagiarism.

Goenka’s post on Twitter has since been taken down.