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Controlled liquor ads to hit channels, companies badly

16-May-2001
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Controlled liquor ads to hit channels, companies badly

Media Companies will receive a significant blow to their advertisement revenues if information and broadcasting (I&B) minister Sushma Swaraj's recent diktat that liquor ads be "controlled" is implemented.

According to the Adex, arm of the research agency ORG-MARG, the liquor industry's biggest beneficiaries were Sony Entertainment Television, which got ads worth Rs 44.2 crore last year, and Zee Cinema, which mopped up Rs 36.2 crore. Star Network, through its four main channels, received over Rs 30 crore as ad revenue from the liquor industry. The total ad revenue for TV channels stood at Rs 3,000 crore in the year 2000. Of this, the liquor industry's share was close to Rs 200 crore. With new channels flooding the market and the ad pie not increasing, the fight for a share is becoming more and more difficult.

According to the Adex, arm of the research agency ORG-MARG, the liquor industry's biggest beneficiaries are Sony Entertainment Television, which got ads worth Rs 44.2 crore last year, and Zee Cinema, which mopped up Rs 36.2 crore. Star Network, through its four main channels, received over Rs 30 crore as ad revenue from the liquor industry.

Adex data shows (based on information from card rates of channels) that the United Breweries (UB) group spent Rs 25.91 crore advertising its Kingfisher Mineral Water on various TV channels last year. On the other hand, Herbertsons' non-liquor offering Bagpiper Club Soda spent Rs 1.42 crore in the same period.

TV channels have already lost out direct liquor advertisements per se with the ban effective from September last year. According to Adex, TV channels earned Rs 186.6 crore by way of liquor advertisements.

Another loser in this whole game are the liquor companies themselves. With advertising options reducing, industry players have already started resorting to ground promotions as an alternative form of product promotion.

Ravi Nedungadi, President and Chief Financial Officer of the UB group, feels the new entrants in the market will take a hit due to lesser brand recall.

Though Radico Khaitan has started advertising its 8 pm apple juice brand on all major channels, Poonam Chandel, Brand Manager, denies doing surrogate advertising as the company feels that theirs is a separate product category altogether.

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