Sony LIV's promotional 'prank' for Undekhi creates panic; Mumbai Police instructs channel to withdraw tactic
In a bid to promote Undekhi, Sony LIV prank-called several people in Mumbai and played disturbing recordings of a man begging for help, saying a killer wants to take his life.
A promotional "prank" by an online streaming platform confounded several residents of Mumbai on Friday, 10 July, leading to a slew of calls to the police control room.
Late in the evening, the cyber cell of Maharashtra police said it had asked Sony LIV, the streaming service, to stop the promotional activity.
The main control room of Mumbai Police started getting calls from people in the afternoon that they had received strange calls from numbers starting with 140 or 40.
Vaibhav Pawar, who owns an advertising agency, said around 4 pm, a man who identified himself as Rishi' called him, begging for help and saying that he had witnessed a murder and recorded the incident on his mobile phone. The killer was now trying to kill him, the man said.
Many others received similar calls, not realising that it was a gimmick to promote Sony LIV's new series Undekhi.
Some also tweeted about it, tagging the Mumbai Police's Twitter handle.
Finally, Sony LIV clarified it was a promotional activity.
Check out the tweet here
If you have received a call for our show Undekhi & it has disturbed you we would like to sincerely apologise to you. This was a test activity which has gone out accidentally & our intention was not to cause any kind of discomfort or panic. We sincerely regret any inconvenience.
— SonyLIV (@SonyLIV) July 10, 2020
Maharashtra Cyber tweeted that people should not panic and spread rumours if they had received these calls.
Here are the tweets
It has come to our attention that a Sony Liv, a tv channel has used a tactic for the promotion of its new show by calling people and playing a disturbing voice recording. If you receive any such call, please do not panic and create rumours. (1/n) — Maharashtra Cyber (@MahaCyber1) July 10, 2020
We have instructed the channel to cease this promotional activity immediately. (2/n)
— Maharashtra Cyber (@MahaCyber1) July 10, 2020
(With inputs from Press Trust of India)
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