Yes Bank crisis casts a shadow on Mamata govt’s media outreach

The West Bengal government’s publicists banked with Yes Bank. The monthly cap of ₹50,000 is affecting media payments and release of ads

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (Photo Courtesy: Social Media)
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (Photo Courtesy: Social Media)
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Abid Shah

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government’s publicists – a Kolkata-based advertising firm called Genesis – has somehow been adversely hit by the recent collapse of Yes Bank. And, thus, this is inadvertently casting its shadow on media ad campaigns of the state government, say media industry sources.

The obvious reason for it is that the advertising firm had its accounts with Yes Bank in Kolkata where the withdrawal limit was capped like in other cities at ₹50,000 only through a Reserve Bank of India order issued on last Thursday, March 5, evening.

Phone calls made on Monday, March 9, to Genesis Advertising Kolkata office remained unanswered. Yet, informed sources say that newspapers carrying West Bengal government ads created and issued through Genesis have been warned about possible delay in clearance of their invoices.

It has also created uncertainty about the release of ads in the days to come and the fate of their payment. This in turn is going to affect not only the media business in the state but also the state government’s advertising needs and campaign.

It also assumes significance in view of the threat posed by Coronavirus as governments in states need to communicate with the people through media ads about steps and precautions to control the possible spread of the virus.

Even otherwise, these are times of heavy advertising which is resorted to both by the Central and most state governments. And huge sums are spent by both on media ads and publicity through myriad other means too. Both are generally taken care of by private agencies.

Moreover, West Bengal is slated to go to polls in about a year’s time from now. And, thus, advertising has a vital role to play in what is thought to be an election year in the eastern state both from the point of view of Mamata Banerjee’s party and the BJP-led Centre, given the long drawn bitter tussle between the two.

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