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Reporter’s Diary: Too many Guinness attempts, too few records?

Of late, reporters have been bombarded with invites for witnessing events to set new Guinness record. There were at least four such events organised in the last couple of weeks. While the event is celebrated with much fanfare, it is never clear after the event whether such “world records” have in fact been broken.

Reporter’s Diary: Too many Guinness attempts, too few records?
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After promoting the event widely, roping in hundreds of people to view the attempt and getting sponsors, the brands that organise such events get their time in the spotlight, as no one really follows up on the success or failure of these endeavours. In fact, the official website of the Guinness World Record states that a minimum of 12 working days are required for their staff to check the evidence supplied by the potential record breaker before they recognise the record and present them with a certificate confirming it.

The website add that this often takes longer than 12 working days as their team is swamped with thousands of submissions from all over the world. In case the process is required to be sped up to five working days, the person or the organisation or the brand submitting their attempt must pay a priority fee of Rs 25,000.

Strangely, such promotional mails don’t even speak of confirming the outcome of these “attempts” in five or 12 or any number of days.

If the attempts to break such records are genuine – particularly because they claim to donate funds collected to various social causes – wouldn’t it make more sense for marketing to be done upon receiving the Guinness World Record, rather than premature promotions and celebrations?

 —Vilani Senthamil, Chennai

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