IPL: ASCI ‘closely monitoring’ liquor brand extension ads

Our Bureau. New Delhi | Updated on November 02, 2020 Published on November 02, 2020

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), on Monday, said it has been “intensely monitoring” liquor brand extension advertisements during the ongoing Indian Premier League. This is being done to check for violations of surrogate advertisement guidelines.

Over the past one month, the ASCI has received complaints against eight such advertisements, which are in potential violation of its code. These include whiskey, beer and white liquor brands. The ads featured a range of products such as music CDs, packaged water, non-alcoholic beverages and merchandising. "In all these cases, the ASCI has written to the advertisers within 24-48 hours of airing of the commercials, seeking a response," it added.

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CBFC clearance

Advertisements for liquor brand extensions can run on TV only if they have a CBFC certificate. “The IPL broadcaster for TV has confirmed to the ASCI that all advertisements are checked for CBFC clearance so that they are not in violation of the Cable TV and Network Act. Keeping that in mind, the ASCI has processed complaints on advertisements appearing in OTT, digital and print media,” the self-regulatory industry body stated.

Manisha Kapoor, Secretary-General, ASCI, said: “We are being extra vigilant because the IPL is one of the biggest marketing platforms in India. We are looking at advertising across media – print, OTT, digital. When we spot potential violations, we ask advertisers to substantiate their claims of their product or service being a genuine brand extension within seven days. This includes sales, distribution and market share data that must be certified by an independent body.”

“Key to ASCI’s investigation is determining what surrogates for liquor are and what constitutes genuine brand extensions. Only if they fulfill the criteria for a genuine extension is the advertisement allowed to continue. If the advertiser fails to respond within the allotted time, the complaint is taken up ex-parte by ASCI’s independent Consumer Complaints Council,” she added.

A valid certificate

According to the ASCI code, for a brand extension of a liquor brand to be considered genuine, it must be registered with an appropriate government authority such as FDA and the FSSAI. “In-store availability must be at least 10 per cent of that of the leading brand in the category that the product competes with, or sales turnover must exceed ₹5 crore per annum or ₹1 crore per annum in each State it is distributed in,” the code specifies. It also must have a valid certificate from an independent organisation to validate the turnover and distribution data of the product

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Published on November 02, 2020
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