Govt seeks to curb liquor companies’ surrogate advertisings – Times of India

by The Technical Blogs


NEW DELHI: After identifying several instances of liquor brands violating regulations of surrogate advertising, Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has asked companies to ensure that there is no violation of the norms and sought a list of products sold under the same brand as alcohol beverages (known as brand extensions) in last three years.
It has also asked for revenue and turnover data related to sale of alcobev as well as on brand extension products (such as mineral water, playing cards, music CD) over last three years. Besides, CCPA wants expenses incurred in promoting brand extensions — including sponsorship of events, award ceremonies, music festivals, payments to celebrities and influencers and TV ads during the last three years.

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The agency wants to ascertain the correlation between the actual sales of the brand extension product and the money spent on their promotion. “This assessment is critical for determining whether promoting of brand extension products authentically represents the extended product or functions as a surrogate for alcoholic beverages under the same brand,” CCPA chief commissioner Rohit Kumar Singh said in the directive issued on Tuesday.
The missive to all alcobev companies and industry associations comes days ahead of launch of IPL when such advertisements are aired frequently and also pushed on social media. Liquor advertisements are banned and this has resulted in companies using surrogate ad campaigns to sell their products.
“The industry is advised to ensure that all brand extensions follow the broad principles of advertising only genuine extensions (that is, turnover and distribution in proportion to advertising spends), and ensure that advertisements contain no cues of restricted category such as tag lines and layouts and do not unduly suppress the category name and extension being advertised,” the two-page direction said. It also said that surrogate advertising posed a threat to consumer rights.


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