Controversy over Times Now's exit poll with ORG

Times Now's exit poll which was done in collaboration with a company called has run into a controversy over using of the brand name ORG.

FP Staff May 14, 2014 17:25:49 IST
Controversy over Times Now's exit poll with ORG

Times Now's exit poll which was done in collaboration with a company called ORG has run into a controversy over using of the brand name, according to online reports and discussions on Twitter.

According to a report on TheNewsMinute.com a letter was sent to Times Now Editor-in-chief by Debasish Banerjee, MD of  Operations Research Group Pvt. Ltd or (ORG) asking the channel to not use "the acronym ORG while telecasting the polls and instead use the full name of the company which conducted the exit polls."

Banerjee told Newslaundry that their firm has been using the ORG brand since 1961 and conducting election studies for sometime and are fairly well-known.

ORG, which is the more well-known group, was taken over by AC Nielsen and came to be known as AC Nielsen-ORG-MARG.

The report adds that the Times Now exit poll was conducted by a company called Operations Research Guild India Pvt Ltd, headed by Amit Roy, who incidentally is an ex-employee of the original ORG.

What added to the confusion and controversy were tweets by other leading television news channel editors, who said on the site that the better known ORG had not conducted the poll.

Rahul Kanwal of Headlines Today had tweeted saying, "Owners of ORG trademark shoot off complaint alleging bogus firm misused their trademark to generate an unauthorised Exit Poll for TV channel".

CNN-IBN's Editor-in-chief Rajdeep Sardesai also tweeted saying, "a leading mkt research firm issues a denial that they did poll for a leading news channel!! shocking, but true."

Controversy over Times Nows exit poll with ORG

Image used for representational purpose only. AP

Twitter users like Sidin also asked whether Times Now got their exit poll from a fake ORG.

But the confusion it seems was over the initials and this isn't the first time. According to TheNewsMinute, Debhasish Banerjee, said in the communication to Times Now, "We have faced similar problems earlier from one of our ex employees named AMIT ROY who has a company in the name of Operations Research Guild registered in Gujarat so that this outfit can present itself as ORG to exploit the Brand name. May we request you not to present this outfit as ORG but by its full name."

However, Amit Roy told NewsLaundry, that it was a controversy over nothing. He said, "Our organisation is called the Operation Research Guild India Private Limited... Our agreement was only with a Hindi news channel called News Nation and because of an arrangement between Times Now and News Nation, they used our projections."

Meanwhile the only response from Times Now to this controversy was a retweet of Rajesh Kalra saying, "Amit Roy of ORG India did the exit poll for @timesnow. Reports that they didn't, are mischievous and unethical. #MegaExitPoll Pls RT tks"

Clearly the controversy over  who owns ORG is not a simple one to resolve.

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