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Government bars seven surrogate ads of liquor and tobacco brands

06-August-2002
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Government bars seven surrogate ads of liquor and tobacco brands

In a move that is likely to cost advertising agencies close to Rs 60 crore, the government has asked broadcasters including Star, Zee, Sony and Aaj Tak not to air seven advertisements of liquor and tobacco brands with immediate effect.

The seven advertisements which have been asked to be taken off-air are Haywards beer, Smirnoff, Kingfisher, 8 PM, Whytehall, Aristocrat Premium and Charms cigarettes.

According to government sources, the communication to this effect has already been sent to various TV channels including Star, Zee, Aaj Tak, Ten Sports and Sony.

The government will also set up an external panel to monitor advertisements on all channels across the country and determine whether it’s a case of surrogate advertising by any of the liquor or tobacco companies.

According to industry analysts, with the government ban on surrogate advertising for liquor, advertising agencies would lose at least 50 per cent of the spend on above-the-line advertising, which is about Rs 120 crore.

The industry has already started vying for limited on-the-ground promotions. Most resources would now go to grass-roots advertising and promotions at good hotels, bars and restaurants. The liquor companies are spending huge amounts and vying for space at all these locations already.

The industry is trying to put across its point through the Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverages and is hopeful that the ministry will take a softer view.

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