Airing surrogate advertisements

Our Bureau

New Delhi, March 21

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has issued showcause notices to 31 television channels for airing surrogate advertisements on 13 categories of liquor and tobacco brand extensions.

Advertising code

This, it says, is violation of the advertising code under the Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, which states `no advertisement shall be permitted which promotes directly or indirectly production, sale or consumption of cigarette, tobacco production, wine, alcohol, liquor or other intoxicant'.

Liquor brands

Several liquor companies have been indulging in surrogate advertising by promoting vacation packages, mineral water and soda.

The Ministry has, in the past, too clamped down on such ads, but the industry has been maintaining that several products, which share a common brand name with tobacco products or liquor are genuine goods.

Remix songs

The Ministry has also issued a warning to seven music TV channels such as ETC, Channel V, B4U Music, Balle Balle Music, MTV Music, iTV Music and MH1 for telecasting objectionable remix Hindi filmy songs in violation of Programme code prescribed under Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995.

`Run a scroll'

The Ministry has directed these music TV channels not to telecast these songs henceforth and to run a scroll on their TV channels round the clock for a period of three days that they have violated Programme Code and they will be more careful in future.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 22, 2006)
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