Surrogate Advertising || Example for Surrogate Advertising

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Surrogate Advertising 

Surrogate advertising is a marketing technique used by companies to promote their products that are otherwise prohibited by law to be advertised directly. In India, liquor and tobacco products fall under this category. 

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Definition os Surrogate Advertising 

Surrogate advertising is a form of advertising which is used to promote products which are banned or limited from advertising under government regulations, such as cigarettes and alcohol via advertising another product prode company in order to raise brand awareness. (Source:-wikipedia)

So, this technique involves advertising a different product under the same brand name, which helps to keep the brand of the prohibited product alive in the minds of the consumers.

So here are some examples of surrogate advertising in India are Bagpiper Soda, Imperial Blue Cassettes and CDs, Royal Challenge Golf Accessories and Mineral Water, etc. 

What is Surrogate Advertising? Example for Surrogate Advertising
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Motives of Surrogate Advertising 

Basically, the aim of surrogate advertising is mainly to the brand-recalling, as it advertises other market commodities without specifically adhering to tobacco or liquor but under the same brand name. 

This makes the general public bring the tobacco and liquor of the same brand in their minds and hence their product is advertised.

Launching new products under the same brand name is not an illegal or objectionable activity in nature and is known as a brand extension. 

Problems Arises and Government Interfere

However, the problem arises when a brand extension happens in response to a ban on advertisement of one product category. So, as in the case of India’s ban on direct advertising of tobacco and liquor products.

The Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 read with Cable television Rules, 1994, banned liquor, tobacco and cigarette advertisements directly. 

Earlier than this, the Cigarettes (Regulation of Production, Supply, and Distribution) Act,1975 made it mandatory to display a health warning on boxes and packets of the products and also in advertisements. 

So, in 2008, the Indian government banned surrogate advertising of liquor companies in print, electronic and outdoor media. However, in 2009, the I&B Ministry issued a notification amending the Rule to allow advertisements of products. So that shared a brand name or logo with any tobacco or liquor product with certain conditions.

Article 13 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control recognizes and realizes the fact that a comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship is necessary and needful. 

The framework gives the parties the freedom to introduce a comprehensive law banning all tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship.

So, that it is essential to create consumer awareness programs to help people understand the evil impacts of surrogate advertising. 

More power should be provided to the Advertising Standards Council of India to encourage it to take action against false and misleading advertisements and keep an observance over clever evasion of the law. 

NGOs such as HRIDAY (Health-related information dissemination amongst youth) and SHAN (Student Health Action Network) runs campaigns appealing to the Government for a comprehensive and wide ban on tobacco advertising. 

The role of NGOs in combating the ills of surrogate advertising should be given recognition and they should be given more power to work on such issues.

Strategies of Surrogate Advertising 

There are several strategies that companies can use for surrogate advertising. One such strategy is to visually match the original product. 

For example, a company can advertise a soda under the same brand name as a whiskey to keep the brand name alive in the minds of the consumers. 

Another strategy is to advertise a different product altogether but sell or market it under the established brand name of the original product.

However, surrogate advertising has its own set of drawbacks. One of the biggest drawbacks is that it can mislead consumers. 

Basically, consumers may think that they are buying a particular product. but it’s wrong, so just wake up into reality, nothing goes over plan, they are buying a different product altogether. This can lead to disappointment and can negatively impact the reputation of the company.

Another drawback of surrogate advertising is that it can be confusing for consumers. So, consumers may not understand why a particular product is being advertised under a particular brand name. 

This can lead to a lack of understanding and can negatively impact the sales of the company.

My Perspective 

Surrogate advertising is a marketing technique used by companies to promote their products that are otherwise prohibited by law to be advertised directly. While it has its benefits, such as brand-recalling, it also has its drawbacks, such as misleading and confusing consumers. 

The Indian government has taken steps to regulate surrogate advertising, but more needs to be done to create consumer awareness and enforce the law.

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