Upset with the existing ban on surrogate advertising, both domestic and MNC segments, is fighting the battle as one. The proposed axe on promotions of "legitimate economic activity through trademark extensions" has made them see red.
According to sources, the Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies (CIABC) had met in Mumbai to discuss developments in advertising by liquor companies. The industry is seeking a meeting with the committee on surrogates, under the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry, besides requesting chambers of commerce and the Indian Broadcast Federation to take up cudgels for them.
Instead of an outright ban, liquor company representatives underline the need for dialogue and subsequent guidelines outlining dos and don'ts of advertising. It could specify timings when the ads should be aired, not target children, disallow teenagers in ads, not allow ads that are glamorous or suggest increased attractiveness to the opposite sex after alcohol consumption.
Industry representatives are against specifying a size of business to define `surrogate'. "A surrogate is when the brand extension product does not exist and this should not be encouraged. However, there is no linkage between the size of the extended business and how serious a company is about it."
And there's more on the cards, according to Government sources. "Sponsorship of sporting events by liquor companies could be disallowed, with the Sports Ministry apparently endorsing the I&B ministry's campaign." But there's hope for liquor companies, given that they may be let off the hook if they indulge in socially relevant messages.