A promotional gimmick that had Twitter bristling with anger

Nandana James Mumbai | Updated on July 10, 2020 Published on July 10, 2020

Not the response SonyLIV was expecting from people who received hoax call from a supposed murder witness

Smriti Kiran was on the floor, breathless with panic, after she got a phone call from a stranger who said he has witnessed a murder, and that the same people are after his life. She tweeted this on Friday afternoon. She was in for another rude shock when she found out a while later that this wasn’t a cry for help, but a promotional gimmick for SonyLIV’s next show.

At 3:58 PM, Kiran tweeted, tagging the Mumbai police: Got a very disturbing call from this number +91 140 880 0135

@MumbaiPolice...The gentleman said he has witnessed a murder. Has recorded it on his phone & now those people want to kill him. He hung up after that. He was crying & quavering while speaking. Please look into this.

At 4:12 PM, another tweet by her said: Shame on you @SonyLIV I just got to know that this call is a promotional gimmick for your new show. I was on the floor breathless with panic when I got it. Are you out of your mind doing this??? @MumbaiPolice you must take action. This is appalling and unethical.

SonyLiv is Sony Pictures Networks India’s OTT platform.

Another person on Twitter, who goes by the Twitter handle Rashmi Sridhara, replied under this thread, saying: @SonyLIV@MumbaiPolice. I got the exact same call from 1408-800129!!! It started off with the guy saying he has witnessed a murder and he kept stammering and then he said it has been video recorded and that they are going to kill him and I need to save him!

She proceeded to further tweet: @MumbaiPolice @SonyLIV the call ended by the person then telling me to know more watch Sonyliv. What kind of sick joke is this?!?! I panicked thinking what happened and if someone was in real danger! Horrible !!!! Sonyliv horrible!

Hamna H Siddiqui, also tweeted: “I got such a call, too. This is appalling, idiotic and uncalled for indeed”

Other Twitter users also echoed their sentiments, calling out SonyLIV for the insensitive deed. Sue them for mental harassment, a user said. Another questioned the lengths the platform would go to for the sake of a marketing gimmick, calling them sociopaths. Another said that strict action has to be taken against SonyLIV.

Meanwhile, SonyLIV tweeted at 5:14 PM, saying: 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 and our intention was not to cause any kind of discomfort or panic. We sincerely regret any inconvenience.

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Published on July 10, 2020
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