A promotional gimmick for the new web series “Undekhi” has drawn a warning from the Mumbai Police.
On Friday, when “Undekhi” dropped, many people in the city started getting calls from unknown numbers beginning with 140. A recorded voice could be heard telling them they needed help because they had become eyewitness to a murder.
The ploy, however, seems to have backfired for SonyLIV, the channel streaming the show, because many people started taking the call seriously, and took to Twitter to express shock.
“Have you lost your mind Sonyliv? Receiving such calls could give anyone a panic attack. Even I received the call and it took me over an hour to get over this. This is not the publicity you should be trying to get. @SonyLIV #irresponsible #Undekhi,” tweeted a user on Friday.
“What a ridiculous #promotional call trick by #Undekhi #SonyLIV Do U even realise what this can cause to a person if they miss out the last few words in panic. Get a better way to promote your series #webseries #advertisement #ScamAlert #murdercall #unethical #worldpremiereseries,” shared another recipient of the call.
This led Mumbai Police to tweet a warning on Friday night.
“The era of ï¿½any publicity is good publicity’ is a passï¿½. Any publicity creating panic amongst citizens and suggesting a threat to their security will be dealt with necessary severity. Hope the fake calls for promotions aren’t bothering you any longer, Mumbaikars #SoNotDone,” tweeted Mumbai Police.
Not expecting this kind of a reaction to their promotion, Sony LIV has issued an apology.
“If you have received a call for our show Undekhi and it has disturbed you we would like to sincerely apologise to you. This was a test activity which has gone out accidentally and our intention was not to cause any kind of discomfort or panic. We sincerely regret any inconvenience,” tweeted the OTT platform’s handle.