The proposed ban on tobacco has sent advertisers, media planners and agencies into a huddle. The total adspend and marketing expenditure of the three cigarette majors ITC, VST and Godfrey Phillips India, total an estimated Rs 350 crore. According to the Zafrani Zarda and Pan Masala Association, whose members include brands like Kothari, Gopal, Manickchand, Baba and Tulsi, the annual adspend by this segment is another s 100 crore. Tobacco accounts of the industry are spread across Lowe-Lintas, Rediffusion, HTA and Bates.
According to the analysts, companies are looking at alternate ways to get some brand recall for their tobacco bands. This would be easy as some of the brands have already stretched to other product categories like leisurewear and accessories.
Sports managers are also in a huddle, considering that tobacco companies are among the most magnanimous of sponsors e.g. Will with cricket and golf and Gold Flake with Tennis. Clearly the gloom cloud has set in for more industries than one.