Ronnie Screwvala, Yash Chopra, Aamir Khan, Ramesh Taurani, Karan Johar

Among the corporate heads, if there are some who think on a broader level, the name of UTV’s Ronnie Screwvala comes on the top of the list. Almost every producer – corporate or individual – has been concerned at the indiscriminate spending on promotion of films around the time of release but it took a Ronnie Screwvala to get the industry united on this issue. All the leading producers including Yash Chopra, Aamir Khan, Karan Johar, Ramesh Taurani, Eros, Reliance Big and UTV, of course, met at Yash Chopra’s office on 15th November to discuss ways and means to bring down the budgets allocated to marketing. There was consensus of opinion that producers have been going overboard in their ad spend, and that matters needed to be controlled and a more rational approach needed to be taken in this direction. Aamir Khan used the platform to also express his misgivings about the tendency of producers to spend on Times Of India’s Medianet to have paid editorials written in its supplements. The actor-producer-director made it clear that it wasn’t about the financial aspect but rather about the moral one of having to pay for getting it written that one’s film is good or hit. “How can I pay to get a good review of my film?” wondered Aamir aloud. Karan Johar, while agreeing with Aamir, said, his stars and technicians expected him to spend on Medianet because other producers were spending likewise.

A four-member committee is expected to be formed soon to get to the root of the problem of overspending on publicity and marketing. It will submit its report and recommendations. The producers in the meeting on 15th November also felt that they should meet more often on a common platform like this. It was decided to hold such meetings to take up issues concerning the production sector, every first Monday of the month.

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