Subscribe and Win!
I came across this ad in a newsmagazine: Subscribe for 5 years get a chance to win a Honda City. I have seen these ads in several magazines for more than 10 years now. But never thought about the reality till I saw this email about "reality" shows and SMS income.
Did any magazine ever showed any proof about the winner of this "Subscribe and win a car" offer ever? Have you ever come across a "real" subscriber who won a car by subscribing (for FIVE years) to a magazine? Why is this kept a secret? Is there any Govt machinery which monitors this kind of offers with luck dips?
What is the frequency of these lucky dips by magazines? Why don't they publish the results? How many "Honda City" cars do they gift per year? From how many entries do they select the winner? Who witnesses the "lucky" dip?
If you send an SMS to "save" a contestant in a reality show from "unsafe" zone, you spend much more than the standard SMS rate, sometimes this can go upto Rs 7.00. This is hidden under the asterix "standard rates apply"!!
The producer and the channel makes crores of profit.
But did anyone care for the following:
1. Is there any record of number of SMS messages received for each participant?
2. Should there be a record of SMS recieved?
3. Is the winner decided by the number os SMSs received by the contestant?
4. Why is this number NEVER revealed by any producer of these reality shows?
5. Why is the SMS rate for reality shows not disclosed during the programme or the web site of the channel or the phone service providers?
6. What is the time lapse between receiving the so called "SMS Votes" and the actual telecast of the programme?
7. What happens when a victim viewer sends an SMS well AFTER the deadline for shooting the next episode is over? He still spends Rs 7.00 and doesn't know his "vote" will not save his favourite singer?
Recently, a reality show participant in a music programme revaled to his friend in Orkut that he has been eliminated. The friend found out to his horror that this singer's fans were voting for him for more than SEVEN days after the "REAL" elimination because the episodes of the programme are shot well over 10 days in advance!!!
What happens if we post this question to the Govt?
1. We will need to find out to whom should we complain?
2. We will go by the gut feeling and complain to some dept in the Govt, they will say this is not in our jurisdiction, you ask XYZ.
3. XYZ will give the same answer and forward us to ABC.
4. After this process repeats five times, we give up!
Thousands of unsuspecting viewers will continue sending SMSs at RS 7.
The producer will not only walk, but "sing" his way to the bank!