Advertisements have a strong influence in our life. We like them because they provide information and create awareness about the market. But many times, some advertisements are accused of misleading people. When such accusations are proved, some advertisements are scrapped off from media. Such instances have been reported in the advertisements endorsing alcoholic drinks and cigarettes. Hence the Government had imposed a ban on advertisements of these products in the media in the year 2002.
ORIGIN OF SURROGATE ADVERTISEMENTS
As a reaction to the directive of Government, the liquor & tobacco majors sought other ways of endorsing their products. They have found an alternative path of advertising through which they can keep on reminding their liquor brands to their customers. They have introduced various other products with the same brand name. Launching new products with common brand name is known as brand extension, which can be carried out for related products (eg: Kingfisher Airlines and Kingfisher Beer). In this case, the companies launch other products with the same brand name for the purpose of reminding their old customers. Heavy advertising is done so that the customers do not forget their liquor & tobacco brands, for which advertisements are banned. The advertisements for such new products are placed under the category of "Surrogate Advertisements". Their only objective is to compensate the losses arising out of the ban on advertisements of one particular product (i.e. liquor). This is a loophole challenging the Government's action.
SURROGATE ADVERTISEMENTS PROMOTED BY LIQUOR AND TOBACCO INDUSTRY
The liquor industry is a prominent player in this game. Few surrogate advertisements shown in print, electronic and outdoor media are - Bagpiper soda and cassettes & CDs, Haywards soda, Derby special soda, Gilbey green aqua, Royal Challenge golf accessories and mineral water, Kingfisher mineral water, White Mischief holidays, Smirnoff cassettes & CDs, Imperial Blue cassettes & CDs, Teacher's achievement awards etc. These products bear exactly the same brand name and logo, which we had seen earlier in liquor advertisements. It was little surprising to know that liquor giants like McDowell's and Seagram's have entered into new segments like cassettes & CDs, mineral water, sports accessories etc. Later it was found that the basic aim of these surrogate advertisements was to promote their liquor brands like beer, wine, vodka etc. This brand extension is an act of bypassing the advertisement ban.
THE CORPORATE STANDPOINT
The industry segment has its own standpoint in defense. The liquor lobby claims that everything is in accordance to the Government regulations. They clarify that they have stopped showing liquor advertisements and they are free to use the brand name for any other products. Even the Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverages Companies (CIABC) advertising code maintains that advertisement of products (real brand extensions) by the liquor industry must be allowed.
HAYWARDS 5000 - SURROGATE AD