The image which started the whole episode
What started off as a malicious post by a bunch of guys who didn’t have anything better to do, was taken seriously by the honchos at Bajaj. The Pune based two-wheeler maker has come down hard on Facebook users who created a meme with ill-intents, questioning the safety of the KTM Duke. The meme comprised of an image of the RC200 on Facebook stating “Did you know? 50% people who have bought Duke is no longer with us.” Apart from some serious grammatical mistakes, the post indirectly claimed that motorcycles from the Austrian origin bikemaker were not safe to ride, thus doing its bit to malign the Bajaj-KTM’s brand name.
While the connotations of the statement can be different for different people, we are told that this specific creative was meant to hint at the accidents faced by and demise of the users of the model specified. For someone who doesn’t take the statement too seriously, though, it may also mean that half the original Duke buyers have now moved on to an RC series KTM or some other model / make. The statement cannot be favourable for the brand in question, whichever way you look at it, though.
Bajaj was quick to issue a warning notice but that’s not the end of the two-wheeler maker’s wrath. Bajaj Auto filed a complaint with the Commissioner of Police, Pune for “Cyber Crime and Criminal Act of Defamation”, mentioning the names and Facebook links of the profiles who shared the image. Bajaj also threatened further legal action at the cost and consequence of the offenders.
A statement, along with the scanned copies of the complaint, were released on KTM India’s official social networking page. The statement read, “Further to the issue brought to our notice on 17th Aug 2015 we have filed a police complaint against perpetrators of baseless and misleading rumors about KTM. Unless these baseless and misleading posts are removed we would be initiating further legal proceedings at cost and consequences to the offenders. We would like to thank KTM fans and customers who have done their part in dismissing these baseless and misleading rumors.”
Here are the images of the complaint letter which Bajaj Auto filed:
One of the channels which shared the malicious post has already apologized and all the posts with the image have been taken down. A Facebook page named The BACK Benchers stated, “On behalf of ‘The Back Benchers’ we hereby apologize to KTM – Ready to Race India for spreading baseless and misleading news about KTM motorcycles without having knowledge of the subject. We have already deleted the offending post and are sorry to have caused damage to the reputation of KTM and hurting the sentiments of millions of KTM fans.”
While having a sense of humour is a good thing, sometimes, when ill-willed activities, which may have been instigated by rival brands threatens to malign a brand, corporates have to take stern action. We are fully with Bajaj-KTM on this issue. We may not be entirely right, though. So do let us know if you have a counter view or anything more to add to the story. Do give us a shoutout in the comments section or on one of our social networking channels. We’re always listening.