I have read with much interest the various steps involved in filing a consumer complaint, and the step-by-step actions usually taken by the ASCI in making sure that requirements outlined in MIB advisories, the Cable Act, the CBFC certification etc. and more are adhered to by all advertising.
So as not to confuse the issue, I will just focus on what you have stated in your reply, “The ASCI code is clear on this: Advertisements for products whose advertising is prohibited or restricted by law or by this code must not circumvent such restrictions by purporting to be advertisements for other products, the advertising of which is not prohibited or restricted by law or this code. ASCI has very clearly laid down rules on what constitutes a genuine line extension of a brand vs surrogate for liquor. In assessing any advertisement on the issue of surrogacy, the advertiser is required to furbish evidence of in-store availability, market share, product registration, sales data etc, as evidence that it is a genuine line extension.”
And we will apply it to Chivas Music CDs that I mentioned in my open letter. I am not singling out this brand for any particular reason – just that it was mentioned in my open letter, and I had made some preliminary enquiries around the Music CDs, which as per my information were not available anywhere in local retail or online.
I am to request that ASCI check out, as per your reply to my open letter:
1. That Chivas Music CDs are a genuine line extension of the brand
2. Evidence of in-store availability of the Music CDs
3. Market share of Chivas in the Music CDs market
4. Product registration
5. Sales data
Prima facie, your team should have by now taken suo motu cognizance of the Chivas ads (because you subscribe to the National Advertising Monitoring Service) and I had mentioned the brand specifically in my open letter. But maybe your team missed out. So, I would request that Chivas be made a test case and an immediate enquiry/investigation be launched.
If you need me to formally come and sign a complaint at the ASCI office, I am happy to do so, just to help expedite the process… Chivas Music CDs have already had a free run for three weeks on the IPL, and as was evidenced in the link to the mails between Carol Goyal and ASCI office two years ago, provided in my open letter, the balance part of the IPL may just be gone in completing the paperwork and queries of the ASCI office.
I leave it to your judgment whether suo motu action is called for in the cases of Royal Stag (selling Mark of Purity), Sterling Reserve (Packaged Water), Blenders Pride (Music CDs) and other brands being advertised on the IPL (the Monitoring Service should be of help, I am sure) … and yes there are also the SNJ 10000 (beer) and British Empire (beer) logos on team jerseys (CSK, just in case it is a problem locating them).
ASCI checking out the Chivas claims will, I am sure, become a litmus test for other brands.
I am available for any help and support that you or your team may require. Your enquiry/investigation in this matter, I am sure, will bolster ASCI’s reputation on vigilance and getting brands to conform with the laws of the land.
Thanks and regards,
Dr. Sandeep Goyal
Chairman Mogae Media
Former president Rediffusion DY&R
Former group CEO Zee Telefilms
Former chairman Dentsu India
13 October, 2020