Stop ‘surrogate’ advertisements by liquor brands: Allahabad high court
The Allahabad HC has directed the UP government and the excise department to ensure that there are no ‘indirect’ ads of liquor on TV and in cinema halls. They have been directed to ensure that such ads are not circulated or published in any newspaper, magazine, etc. in the state.Updated: Mar 15, 2019 02:11 IST
The Allahabad high court has directed the state government and the excise department to ensure that there are no ‘indirect’ advertisements of liquor on TV and in cinema halls. They have also been directed to ensure that such advertisements are not circulated or published in any newspaper and magazine etc. in state.
The court ruled that advertisements of items like music CDs, golf balls etc. by liquor brands, where only the brand name of the liquor is displayed and much is left for guess work of the viewers, is “surrogate advertisement’ to promote their products indirectly. “This is prohibited by law,” the court said.
The high court bench, comprising Justice Sudhir Agarwal and Justice Ajit Kumar, while allowing a petition by ‘Struggle Against Pain’, a society, through its president, Manoj Mishra, directed the excise and police departments to take appropriate action to ensure prohibition of any such ‘surrogate advertisement’. In the petition, various advertisements published in magazines and newspapers, were placed before the court.
The petitioner’s plea was that though advertisements were for publicity of music CDs or glasses but the same were written in very small font size and were hardly visible. However, the logo of the liquor brand was clearly visible in such advertisements.The petitioner further claimed that huge amount of money was spent by liquor manufacturing and selling companies on such advertisements.
“They encourage consumption and sale of their liquor products in a clandestine manner. Advertisements are made in a manner that the real products are shown in the form of holograms/monograms, without mentioning the word ‘liquor’ or kind of liquor, in order to escape punishment under law,” the petition said.
The lawyers of the liquor companies, which were made parties to the petition, defended their act, claiming that apart from liquor, the companies also produced such products (music CDs etc) and that there was no prohibition in law to advertise such products.
First Published: Mar 15, 2019 02:11 IST