Faced with a 7 to 11 per cent loss in revenues after the ban on direct and indirect liquor advertising, a group of TV broadcasters has submitted a proposal to the government to allow them to use socially responsible ads sponsored by liquor companies.
A committee of broadcasters headed by I&B special secretary Mr. R R Shah has recommended to the government that socially useful advertisements sponsored by liquor companies should be allowed on TV channels.
Mr. Bhuvan Lall, executive director, Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), said that socially useful ads sponsored by liquor companies are a very popular concept in the US and the UK, and are likely to be well-accepted in India.
Mr. Lall added that, since public service endorsements do not lead to promotion of liquor ads, these cannot be clubbed with direct/indirect or even surrogate advertising of liquor. The socially useful ads or public service endorsements, which this committee is referring to, may not necessarily talk about ‘drunken driving’ as some liquor companies have been doing so far.
Although the government hasn’t decided whether to allow liquor companies to advertise socially responsible ads on TV channels, there are feelers that the government is warm to the idea.