labels: marketing - general
Surrogate liquor, cigarette ads to be on air soon news
14 September 2006

Surrogate liquor and cigarette commercials will soon be on air. Now, all that stands between them and the viewer is the Central Board of Film Censors. And the board will pass them if they don't refer to alcohol or tobacco, reports CNBC-TV18.

A few months ago, channels airing ads of liquor and cigarettes would have faced a notice from the information and broadcasting ministry. But now Radico Khaitan's Magic Moments music CDs got the go-ahead even though it shares its name with the company's vodka brand.

The CBFC, or censor board, certified it after finding no reference to alcohol. Sources say more surrogate commercials will follow, including some for Kingfisher, Seagrams and Teachers, advertising mineral water and golf accessories.

It's a turnaround from the situation in March, when the information and broadcasting ministry issued show cause notices to 31 satellite TV channels for airing surrogate liquor and cigarette commercials.

Ministry sources admit that since then, the liquor lobby has been putting pressure to prevent a ban on surrogate advertising. Broadcasters too argued that the medium was being unfairly targeted. The ministry finally relented. The new notification has asked for CBFC to vet the commercials but clearly much more leniently.

Broadcasters are toasting a victory of sorts. Some see television adspends rising Rs250 crore, adding to the Rs5,000 crore ad spend, at the moment.

"TOI (The times of India) Bangalore was showing huge growth thanks to liquor ads, radio and outdoor has never seen so many surrogate liquor hoardings," said Joy Chakraborthy, head, network sales, Zee Telefilms. "These guys are now coming to us, there's a clear mandate, there's no confusion."

But what's far from clear is how the authorities will verify the credentials of products, the surrogate commercials depict on screen. Even so, the queue at the Censor Board's door is bound to grow longer.


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Surrogate liquor, cigarette ads to be on air soon