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Friday, Aug 09, 2002

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Liquor cos ask channels to take off surrogate ads

Neha Kaushik
Nithya Subramanian


IN a self-disciplinary move, the Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies (CIABC) has asked all television channels to withdraw objectionable surrogate liquor ads. And the first one to be targeted is Jagatjit Industries Ltd's Aristocrat apple juice.

The ad which depicts clothes dropping off as a couple sips the `beverage' was found to be in bad taste and has already been taken off the air by CNBC.

The association has also written a letter to the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry about the steps being taken. The Ministry has been cracking down on channels airing surrogate liquor and cigarette ads.

Confirming the development, Mr Pramod Krishna, President, CIABC, told Business Line that the association had directed the channels to take off objectionable liquor advertisements which violate the advertisement code of the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1999.

Meanwhile, Ministry officials said the Government wanted broadcasting companies to adhere to the advertisement code, which clearly states that no advertisement shall be permitted which helps directly or indirectly promotion, sale or consumption of cigarettes, tobacco products, wine, alcohol, liquor or other intoxicants, infant milk substitution, feeding bottle or infant food.

They said if the industry were willing to regulate itself, no monitoring would be required.

Meanwhile, the Government has sent notices to broadcasting companies against eight liquor and cigarette brands. It is also planning to appoint an external agency to monitor the various channels for any such violations.

The high-level committee is expected to hear the broadcasters next week on the issue of surrogate advertising.

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