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A lesson in marketing from from an Indian economist

I was in India when the controversy about pesticides in soft-drinks made headlines. So effective was the media coverage and mass hysteria that the parliament banned cold drinks, schools and colleges had notices advising students against them and most of the eating places stopped serving coke, pepsi and many other well-known brands. With that kind of public reaction, it was hard to imagine it was all about a well-orchestrated marketing campaign.

But as this piece by Swami points out, the Indian public was nothing but the guinea pig of a very successful marketing campaign by CSE to gain name and fortune.

Swami gives an interesting twist to the whole story by making it a case-study of marketing campaign by CSE and counter-campaign by Pepsi & Coke and others. This makes sense, for the facts and findings were quite inconsequential in this case, and perhaps were known to be so by the perpetrators of the campaign. At the end, CSE was remarkably successful and its adversaries, equally unsuccessful. Swami's conclusion: The lesson is clear. Coke and Pepsi should sack their marketing managers and hire replacements from CSE.


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