Is Surrogate Marketing Legal in India


Merriam Webster characterizes a Surrogate as a ‘substitute’. Also, substitute commercials are only that. A substitute ad can be characterized as a notice that copies the brand picture of one item to advance another result of a similar brand. The surrogate advertisements or substitute could either look like the first item or could be an alternate item through and through yet it is showcased under the set-up brand name of the first item. Surrogate advertisements are utilized to advance and promote the results of brands when the first item can’t be publicized on broad communications. A few examples of surrogate advertisement are:  Bagpiper Soda, Cassettes and CDs, Royal Challenge Golf Accessories and Mineral Water, Imperial Blue Cassettes and CDs, and so forth 




Since the time promotion of tobacco and alcohol items has been prohibited on Mass Media, these organizations have depended on surrogate advertisement strategies to keep their brands alive in the personalities of purchasers. The main capacity of a substitute promotion is that of brand review. A substitute ad publicizes other market products without suggesting tobacco or alcohol yet under a similar brand. 


Surrogate advertisements came into India during the 1990s after the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 read with Cable TV Rules, 1994, came into power, which restricted direct alcohol, tobacco, and cigarette advertisements.1 Before that the Cigarettes (Regulation of Production, Supply, and Distribution) Act,1975 made it required to show legal wellbeing cautioning on all bundles and promotions. Promotions have a solid impact on the personalities of buyers particularly in this time of new-age innovation. Prohibiting direct promotions about alcohol and tobacco was a stride ahead by the Government to check the impact of such ads on people in general and successfully lessen the evil impacts of these items all in all. Subsequently, Surrogate Advertisements by these alcohol and tobacco organizations nullify the actual point of this boycott. 


Dispatching new items with a typical brand name is known as brand expansions and isn’t fundamentally illicit or questionable in nature. The issue emerges when a brand expansion is completed in light of a prohibition on the promotion of one item class. 


Surrogate advertisements IN INDIA


In India, Surrogate Advertisements are done fundamentally in the tobacco and alcohol industry. This is an immediate result of the prohibition on direct promotions of tobacco and alcohol. Hence to advance and publicize their items to the majority, Liquor and tobacco discovered a path around the boycott through surrogate advertisements. The restricted item (liquor or cigarettes) isn’t projected straightforwardly to customers yet rather veiled under another item under a similar brand name so that at whatever point there is a notice of that brand, individuals begin to partner it with its principal item. 

did by tobacco organizations would establish a type of aberrant commercial and would thus be precluded under Section 5. 


Segment 6 of the ASCI code states: 


‘Commercials for items whose promoting is disallowed or confined by law or by this code should not go around such limitations by implying to beads for different items the publicizing of which isn’t denied or limited by law or by this code. In judging whether a specific notice is a backhanded commercial for an item whose publicizing is confined or restricted, due consideration will be given to the accompanying: 


The visual substance of the ad should portray just the item being publicized and not the disallowed or confined item in any structure or way. 


The commercial should not make any immediate or circuitous reference to the precluded or limited items. 


The ad should not make any subtleties or expressions advancing denied items.’ 


This part explicitly forbids substitute promoting alongside setting out the rules for choosing whether an ad is a backhanded notice. 




India confirmed the show on fifth February 2004 and the Convention came into power on 27th Feb 2005. The show tries to shield the present and people in the future from wrecking wellbeing, social, natural, and monetary outcomes of tobacco utilization, and openness to tobacco smoke by giving a structure to tobacco control measures. 


Article 13 of the Convention is named as Tobacco publicizing, advancement and sponsorship. This article perceives the way that an extensive boycott is vital and basic. The system gives the gatherings the opportunity to present a far-reaching enactment prohibiting all tobacco publicizing, advancement and sponsorship. 



On February 25, 2008, the Government gave a warning forbidding substitute publicizing of alcohol organizations on paper, electronic, and outside media.3 However, hence on February 27, 2009, I&B Ministry gave a notice correcting the said Rule to permit commercials of items that shared a brand name or logo with any tobacco or alcohol item with a few admonitions viz: (I) the storyboard or visual of the promotion should portray just the item being publicized and not the denied items in any structure or way and so on 


In 2014, social lobbyist Teena Sharma recorded a PIL in the Delhi High Court looking for a prohibition on substitute commercials. She contended that the Cable Television Network decides 1994 should necessitate that all promotions discovered to be veritable expansions by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting should be reviewed and confirmed by the CBFC. For obscure reasons, this PIL was subsequently removed. 


It is extremely obvious from the previously mentioned existing laws and guidelines that any immediate or circuitous publicizing of the disallowed items isn’t allowed in India. 


While the Government notice dated February 27, 2009 permits promotions of items what share a brand name or logo with any tobacco or alcohol item, it simultaneously likewise expresses that no reference immediate or backhanded could be made to the denied items in any structure. Further, I&B Ministry has additionally made it extremely clear vide its Directive dated June 17, 2010, that the Government warning dated February 27, 2009, can’t be referred to as a pardon to broadcast promotions of items disregarding Rule 7(2)(viii)(a) of CTNR.4 




Clarifying and unambiguous straightforward laws restricting substitute ads for various items under a solitary brand name. 


Leading purchaser mindfulness software engineers to assist individuals with understanding the adverse consequence of surrogate advertisements. 


Giving more capacity to the Advertising guidelines Council of India to empower it to make a move against bogus and deluding commercials and keep a nearby vigil over astute avoidance.


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