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25 Feb 2024, Edition - 3148, Sunday

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COCKROACH IN BIRYANI: Annapoorna PR team unleashes malicious campaign on Covai Post

Covai Post Network


Not an isolated instance, many customers speak of similar experience. Here are a string of facebook posts that punch holes in the defense mounted by Annapoorna Hotel. Covai Post tracks down several customers who have taken to social media to vent their concern on the serious hygiene issues in the hotel chain.

We are glad that the public relations team of the management of Annapoorna Hotel chain has unleashed a malicious propaganda against us at Covai Post after our report highlighting a cockroach that was served along with Panneer Biryani to an unsuspecting customer on Friday.

It appears that the write up, done in public interest to warn people to look a bit more closely before eating out in public places, has rattled the prestigious chain of hotels.

We at Covai Post have reasons to believe that the PR team of the management is behind a smear campaign. Officially, the management of the Annapoorna Hotel has however denied that it had anything to do with a negative campaign against the digital publishing house.

Jegan Damodarasamy, director, Annapoorna Chain, neverthless said that “the campaign could be the handiwork of the PR person which we are not aware of and we had to sort it out with them!”

When told about a plethora of complaints from customers that the Covai Post had tracked, the director said that they could be “personally motivated”. “We did not receive any official complaint from anyone,” he maintained, absolving the hotel chain from any wrong doing.

But, just a cursory glance at the pictorial evidence and Facebook posts which appear on different dates in 2015, of customers unhappy with the “non-vegetarian fare”, the vegetarian hotel was serving occasionally, would show that Covai Post only raised the issue to create awareness and in public interest.

The write up highlighting the cockroach in Panneer Biryani, hosted on the digital publication on Saturday was widely popular and evoked several responses from people, who claimed similar experiences of their own to share.

We are publishing a few facebook posts here for the readers to go through. These also go to show that the complaints regarding insects in solid and liquid food came from different outlets of the Annapoorna Hotel chain.

While the malicious campaign that was forwarded in various media groups accused the scribes of the media house of indulging in maligning the reputation of the hotel, during festive season, to exhort money, the cyber space throws across several narratives where people have been so upset about the serious hygienic issues of the hotel chain.

For the past two or three years, the number of complaints are going up, indicating a slackness in the management’s control over the cleanliness in its own premises and its loosening control over the working of its employees.

The smear campaign by the PR team of Annapoorna against Covai Post, without naming it, had threatened legal action against such “fake news organizations”.

On the issue of unleashing a smear campaign, the Chairman and Managing Trustee K Srinivasan of Digital Journalists Association of India (DiJAI), said that while it is important for online portals to conform to strict journalisitic ethics and standards like newspapers, electronic versions of documents, just as the physical ones are admissible in the Court of law as valid evidences, as per the Information Technology Act, 2000. “Hence all remedies are available in the case of e-journals too just as it is for the print counterparts”, the Chairman said.

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